National Grid’s London Power Tunnels project has joined International Youth Day celebrations through its partnership with Connectr, the UK’s leading underrepresented talent specialist.
The school engagement programme is helping address skills shortages in the energy sector.
Following a difficult year that has disproportionately affected young people across the UK, National Grid is continuing to help address critical skills shortages and engage the youths through its partnership with Connectr.
The energy industry needs to fill 400,000 roles by 2050 if the UK is to reach its net zero target. National Grid’s partnership with Connectr is a STEM and careers-focussed scheme aims to engage more than 100,000 pupils in South London along the route of National Grid’s £1 billion London Power Tunnels (LPT) project. The project will rewire the capital and has already helped inspire 18,000 students from diverse backgrounds to consider careers in STEM since its launch in October 2020. The programme includes interactive workshops, digital mentoring programmes, and most recently, a virtual work experience week that took place from 5 – 9 July.
The virtual work experience initiative focussed on developing employability skills and provided around 200 pupils with an unrivalled insight into the energy sector. Students in some of London’s most disadvantaged areas enjoyed a mix of live sessions and learning materials, including digital mentors, live Q&As, recorded seminars, written modules, and quizzes.
The workshops were led by engineers from National Grid’s London Power Tunnels, including its construction partner HOCHTIEF Murphy, as well as professionals from Connectr who specialise in supporting people from diverse backgrounds achieve their potential and integrate into the workplace.
Gareth Burden, Project Director at National Grid commented: “International Youth Day celebrates young people’s voices and drives their meaningful engagement across the globe. Young people have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and underrepresented students’ educational and career development opportunities have been hit particularly hard.
“That’s why National Grid places great emphasis on youth engagement and skills development. Our recent virtual work experience week was a fantastic opportunity for young people to learn about STEM career paths. It was great to offer pupils insights into the energy industry and why we need their skills and passion to make net zero happen.”
William Akerman, CEO of Connectr commented: “The pandemic continues to significantly impact young people’s employment prospects. International Youth Day provides a key opportunity to recognise and celebrate emerging talent of all backgrounds, whilst highlighting the need to support them through this incredibly challenging time. I am thrilled our partnership with National Grid is playing an active role in expanding the routes into the STEM industry for underrepresented young people.”