Attracting and retaining talent: Corporate Social Responsibility

UK Power Reserve

This blog post has been produced for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce as part of the 2019 Growth Through People campaign.

Growth Through People is the Chamber’s annual campaign aiming to help local firms boost productivity and grow through improved leadership and people management skills. In 2019 this involves 15 free events, workshops and training sessions taking place between 25 February and 26 March, along with thought leadership videos and blog content such as this.

Thanks to our Sponsors – the University of Birmingham, Aston University, Curium Solutions and CIPD - all events are free to attend. Interested readers can find out more here.

UK Power Reserve, part of the Sembcorp Group, are proud to take part in the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce ‘Growth Through People’ campaign 2019.

At the forefront of the Midlands energy engine, we’ve created 150 highly-skilled jobs in the UK from a standing start in 2010.

As a company we see real value in having a strong focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) especially when looking to retain, and attract, top industry talent. CSR refers to companies working responsibly and contributing positively to the communities in which they operate.

In this blog, we’d like to share how we strive to attract and maintain an engaged workforce through our CSR activities.

Appealing to new recruits

Showcasing our CSR activities – actions we’ve taken to help the environment, local community, and employees – on our website and social media channels lets potential candidates see what’s important to our company and those who work for us, and thus whether our brand is one they’d be proud to be associated with.

The UK Power Reserve CSR strategy is built on three pillars of People, Communities, and Sustainable Development: 

  • People: Supporting employees’ voluntary efforts (through Match Funding), training, on-going development, and ensuring health and safety for all employees.
  • Communities: Strengthening ties with local stakeholders in communities near our offices and areas of operation.
  • Sustainable Development: Ensuring a renewable future and developing ourselves as a responsible business.

We’ve also created several internal groups – including our Power Up, Wellbeing, and Charity committees – to empower staff to champion initiatives that reflect our CSR pillars.

Welcoming the next generation

We regularly attend careers fairs and employer open days across the UK hoping to encourage the next generation to realise their full potential and consider a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). For those at the very start of their careers we offer a range of schemes to make the transition from education to profession an easy one:

Our Strategic Advisor programme, aimed at recent graduates with a Master’s degree, offers a 3-6 month contract to those looking to gain experience in the energy sector. Working with our Strategic Advisors are our Project Assistants; this role is targeted at Bachelor graduates and can cover a variety of business areas, from Stock Control to Data Science.

Additionally, we currently have three apprentices, one in their second year of studies in electrical engineering. Our two other apprentices, who joined last autumn, are both completing the new Maintenance & Operations Engineering Technician (MOET) standard.

We encourage applications from all who are passionate about energy and are keen to make a real difference to the energy revolution taking place in the UK and beyond. Whether joining in their first role or bringing many years’ experience, we continue to invest in our talent and develop staff to ensure they reach their full potential.

Promoting inclusivity

At UK Power Reserve, we seek to promote a culture where every individual is treated fairly and consistently, regardless of identity and perception and our team already represents 14 different nationalities. We encourage employees to share cultural traditions and language skills to improve inclusivity and understanding amongst their colleagues. One way we do this is through monthly Language Lunches, where employees can learn from a different presenter each month while enjoying lunch together.

With the energy industry having a reputation for typically being male-dominated, a key focus of ours is to ensure we help encourage more women into STEM careers. 2018 was a year of strong recognition for women at UK Power Reserve, with Alessandra De Zottis, Regulatory Affairs Manager, winning the Industry Advocate award at the Energy Live Personality Awards, and Keila Abreu, Senior Project Development Manager, named one of Forbes 30 under 30, singling her out as one of the top young industry figures in Europe. On top of this we won the Silver Stevie® Award in the Achievement in Developing and Promoting Women category in the 15th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Our entry into the awards focused on our ‘Power Up’ committee – an internal group dedicated to promoting and empowering the employees of our diverse workforce.

We believe that entering awards, not only as a company but on behalf of individual members of our team, gives UK Power Reserve and the Sembcorp Group the opportunity to show how proud we are of those who work for us. Supporting our workforce by helping them raise their industry profile and showcase the great work they do helps us maintain a happy and motivated team.

Amy Shaw
Communications and PR Officer
UK Power Reserve