Attract: Working with Schools and Universities

In this Thought Leadership piece, read about our recommendations for early career engagement as we reflect on some of the useful statistics generated by the PowerHouse 2030 surveys and events over the last 12 months.

Attract: Working with Schools and Universities

With our conferences and surveys across 2015 & 2016, some interesting trends were revealed during our analysis. Only around half of the PowerHouse 2030 conference attendees planned on a career in the energy industry. Despite it not being a first choice career, only 17% believe that they will be working in a different industry by 2030, with 55% confirming that they plan to remain in the energy sector.
These statistics highlighted the fact that those who did not plan on a career in the energy industry are no less passionate about the energy industry and the job which they do now, only that they were unaware of the opportunities available within the sector until they began their career in energy.
Whilst this is likely to be the case across many industries, we felt that more should be done both at school and at university; firstly to help those looking to choose a suitable career, and secondly to attract young talent before they are employed in other industries.

The conference attendees thought that the energy sector attracts those with an engineering background, and is less sought after by other graduates, such as those interested in climate change, sustainability and even economics and finance. It was suggested that more should be done to highlight the range of careers available and to interact with students undertaking courses such as geography and economics to highlight what roles are available in the industry for them. Despite this, 31% of respondents to the follow up survey did take business or economics as their degree, however nearly half work in government, regulation or in the professional services as opposed to the core energy sector. Of the remainder, 28% came through the engineering route and 19% via other STEM subjects.

Suggestions for future engagement:

● Participate in schools careers days and science clubs. The conference follow up survey showed that almost all participants took at least 1 STEM subject at A-level with most taking 2 or 3. This shows the value of engaging with students at A-level stage doing any of the STEM subjects, also with students not yet taking A-levels to highlight the range of opportunities available by continuing with at least one STEM subject.
● Increase presence at university career fairs. Many of the graduate recruitment fairs at universities focus on the traditional vocations and those with very large graduate schemes, such as management, law, accountancy, engineering, etc.
● Increase company and sector awareness on the university campus. There are a number of ways to do this including: event sponsorship, posters, national competitions and prizes, work experience and placements, academic collaboration, and campus brand managers.
● Utilise social media. This could be targeted advertising aimed at those who are researching careers in related fields and through university careers addresses. Many universities careers services link their social media accounts to their free online jobs board.
● Advertise and increase recruitment through apprenticeship schemes.