MyKindaFuture Initiative

National Grid’s school engagement programme exceeds five-year ambition ahead of schedule by reaching over 100,000 students

  • Over 100,000 student interactions have been booked by National Grid’s £1.8 million school engagement programme conducted in partnership with social enterprise Connectr Early Engagement.
  • The programme forms part of National Grid’s London Power Tunnels project and is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and careers programme aiming to engage 100,000 young people aged between 13 and 18 in South London before July 2025.
  • The programme will now focus on deepening its impact between now and 2025.

National Grid’s school engagement programme, conducted in partnership with social enterprise Connectr, has achieved a remarkable milestone, reaching its target of booking over 100,000 student interactions a year and a half ahead of schedule. 

The £1.8 million initiative has been instrumental in providing students across schools in South London with the necessary tools to explore and pursue careers in green and STEM-focussed fields. The programme aspires to address social mobility issues, tackle STEM skills shortages, and offer a wide range of opportunities to students from underrepresented backgrounds. It forms a key part of the London Power Tunnels project, a £1 billion venture aimed at rewiring South London with 32.5km of deep underground tunnels, with a focus on engaging students at schools along the route.

The programme also has a significant potential economic impact, with an estimated £4.1 million contribution to economic output after three years expected through reducing the likelihood of participants between the ages of 16 to 18 falling out of education, employment, or training.

A series of in-person STEM workshops, career talks, resources for teachers, in-person, and virtual work experience opportunities with the London Power Tunnels project team, as well as a talent pooling platform have been the cornerstone of the initiative. The programme has not only reached its target but has also inspired a significant number of participants to consider a future at National Grid and the wider STEM sector.

With the energy sector facing the need to fill hundreds of thousands of new jobs before 2050 to meet the UK’s net zero targets, initiatives like National Grid’s School Engagement programme are vital in addressing the STEM skills shortage and ensuring a sustainable future for the industry.

Onur Aydemir, London Power Tunnels Project Director, said: "Engaging young people in STEM is crucial if we are to achieve a net zero future. We place great importance in igniting a spark of curiosity in the next generation while making a positive impact on the communities in which we operate. 

“To reach our target ahead of schedule is a testament to the hard work put in across the team. I want to extend my gratitude to Connectr for helping us bring the net zero future closer through this important work – I look forward to seeing the programme developing over the next year.”

Will Akerman, Connectr’s Managing Director, said: “We’re proud to partner with National Grid on such an ambitious and vital programme. Students overwhelmingly want to work for an employer that actively contributes to sustainability and achieving net zero. The challenge is a lack of understanding about green jobs and green career pathways. National Grid has proven that structured long-term employer engagement with schools, teachers and young people is the key to overcoming this challenge. Already on target to provide over 100,000 students with insights and pathways to achieving that STEM and green career ambition. I congratulate National Grid for being the industry leader in this respect, and for supporting the wider sector to leverage National Grid learnings to develop their own education programmes.” 

Building on its remarkable success, National Grid’s school engagement programme is now setting its sights on deepening its impact between now and 2025. The focus will shift towards creating more immersive and comprehensive work experiences for those young people previously engaged by the scheme, opening the pathway to work placements across the organisation. Through doing so, National Grid aims to foster a deeper understanding and passion for green energy and STEM-based careers among students. By enhancing the quality of interactions and learning opportunities, the programme aspires to leave a lasting impression on young individuals, empowering them to become the driving force behind a sustainable and innovative future in the energy sector.

To read more about the important work completed as part of National Grid’s school engagement programme, the latest Social Impact Report is available here: