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Scottish Power Returner programme launches to provide new opportunities for STEM sector in Merseyside and the North West following Covid19

UK energy provider, Scottish Power, has opened UK wide applications for a 'Returner' employment programme which provides opportunities for those who have taken a career break or lost their job in the STEM sector due to Covid19, to rejoin the industry through a year long paid placement. As part of Scottish Power’s long term commitment to diversity and inclusion, the programme helps STEM industry returners to refresh and rebuild confidence in their existing skills and knowledge while helping them to return to a working environment after a career break. Many previous participants have progressed to permanent roles at Scottish Power and elsewhere in STEM industries. In the wake of the pandemic, the STEM sector continues to face a growing skills shortage which threatens the potential of the UK economy to achieve a green economic recovery and to meet key targets such as net zero carbon emissions.

Recognising the need to retain expertise in the industry and to develop the next set of STEM sector leaders, supporting candidates back into STEM careers is a core focus for Scottish Power. The programme follows SP Energy Networks' recently launched recruitment drive, backed by 1st Minister Nicola Sturgeon, which will create 152 green jobs across Central and Southern Scotland within engineering, construction, sustainability, analysis, safety, environmental planning roles. These green jobs will be at the forefront of the transformation of the electricity network and vital to delivering Net Zero in Scotland.

The Returner programme was launched as an initiative to improve gender diversity in STEM by supporting women seeking to return to work after a career break. As a result of job losses across the industry caused by Covid19, the programme has been expanded to provide talented people from all genders and diverse backgrounds with a chance to get back into the industry they are passionate about. The programme offers a flexible, paid placement for 9 to 12 months which will provide successful candidates with an opportunity to work on some of Scottish Power's most high profile projects. This year’s intake could expect to work on flagship projects that support a green economic recovery from Covid19 as part of UK efforts to achieve net zero. Participants will also take part in specialist workshops designed to rebuild confidence as well as receiving expert mentoring and guidance from a dedicated Returner Programme manager to help boost long-term employability.

Mairi Elder, Social Projects and Sector Education Manager said:- "There is an urgent skills shortage in the UK STEM sector. As we navigate through the energy transition, the Returner Programme allows us to bring STEM talent back into the workplace and address that gap. The Programme helps applicants to gain valuable experience across a broad range of critical projects at Scottish Power, driving the UK's green recovery and delivering a better future, quicker, for everyone."

Sean Russell, programme recipient and Scottish Power Project Engineer said:- "The expansion of the Returner Programme to include those who have lost their job in the STEM sector due to the pandemic provided a vital opportunity for my career. My initial role within Operations and Maintenance offered me great flexibility and enabled me to regain trust in my skills and abilities. As a result of the programme, I have secured a permanent role in the Technical Services team. It’s a really exciting time to be a part of the industry and I can highly recommend the programme for the excellent support, mentoring and guidance I have been given to support me in my future career."

Viktoriia Kosenko, programme recipient and Scottish Power Web Developer said:- "The Returner Programme has given me an invaluable opportunity to break into the technology sector and to secure a permanent role that I love. From my experience having to retrain over many years after arriving in the UK with limited English language skills and a qualification in accountancy that did not carry weight, I know that employment projects such as these have a really important role in closing the skills gap in the STEM sector, allowing us to retain industry talent."

To apply, please visit the Scottish Power's website:- Careers.IBerdrola.Com.

* The statistics come from SP Energy Networks’ latest Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations (ESQCR) report.


Next stop Merseyside as Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth returns to Liverpool

CELEBRATE the return of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth to Liverpool, with Mersey Ferries, and enjoy unrivalled views of the iconic luxury cruise ship on a 50 minute River Explorer Cruise. Mersey Ferries will be running a series of scheduled River Explorer Cruises that will be setting sail close to Queen Elizabeth, offering the opportunity to see the iconic ship in front of Liverpool’s world famous waterfront. This unforgettable experience includes fascinating expert commentary throughout the 50-minute trip, so visitors can sit back, relax and soak in their incredible surroundings aboard the iconic Mersey Ferry; an ideal day out for all the family. A visit by 1 of the iconic Cunard vessels always plays a highly significant role in Liverpool’s cruise season, as Cunard was founded in Liverpool, in 1839, and the City was home to their Head Office for nearly 130 years; the Cunard building remains 1 of the landmark sights that can be viewed from the deck of Mersey Ferries River Explorer Cruises.

Dates of up and coming visits to Liverpool for Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth:-

Monday, 6 September 2021.

Sunday, 12 September 2021.

Saturday, 18 September 2021.

Sunday, 10 October 2021.

Passengers should note that due to the changing nature of the worldwide Pandemic, the dates relating to cruise ship visits can change. For the latest cruise ship schedule please visit the Cruise Liverpool website.

River Explorer Cruises depart daily, from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am to 6pm, Saturday, Sunday, and Bank Holidays. Cruises depart Pier Head Ferry Terminal on the hour and Woodside Ferry Terminal at twenty past the hour. Passengers are strongly recommended to book their tickets online in advance.

Mersey Ferries has been awarded the official UK:- 'We’re Good to Go’ mark, demonstrating that all Government and industry Covid19 guidelines have been followed with appropriate processes in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

For further details on all Mersey Ferry products, visit:- MerseyFerries.Co.UK.

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