Following the appointment of four additional apprentices to its Exeter-based finance department, South West Water has recruited more than 100 apprentices, bringing total hired so far to 102, or around seven per cent of the company’s current workforce. The milestone was marked on the 6th of March 201 at the start of National Apprenticeship Week.

National Apprenticeship Week celebrates the positive impact apprenticeships have on businesses, individuals, and the economy at large. The new recruits were welcomed to the company’s Exeter headquarters by South West Water’s Managing Director Stephen Bird and Exeter College Principal John Laramy.

The multi-award-winning apprenticeship programme, which was started by South West Water in 2011, grows from strength to strength as the company makes sure that it has a stable of new talent ready to replace experienced employees as they retire.

This foresight of continually training new recruits will ensure that the vital services that South West Water offers to its clients can continue seamlessly and customers can be assured of only the best service at all times.

During their two-year apprenticeships with Exeter College the new finance recruits will spend time in each of the main finance areas, including corporate & central finance, purchase ledger, internal audit, operations finance, capital finance, procurement, and sales ledger. They will also earn while they learn, so have great incentive to do well.

Nigel Fenn, Head of Organisational Development at South West Water, said:  “We’re delighted to have recruited more than 100 apprentices.  They’ve contributed significantly to our continuing success. In 2010 we identified a serious skills gap, with 40 per cent of our operational workforce due to retire within ten years.  Apprenticeships were introduced as part of our workforce development plan to ensure that we continue to be fit for the future.”

96% per cent of our apprentices successfully complete their qualification and most go on to take up permanent roles with South West Water, proving that apprenticeships provide a strong springboard towards exciting new career opportunities in a wide range of professions,” he added.

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