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Partnership to energise the next generation of north-east engineers is launched

By Kyle Ritchie

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A new partnership to inspire the next generation of engineers has been launched between electricity company SSEN Transmission and Industrial Cadets.

Led by education charity EDT (the Engineering Development Trust), Industrial Cadets is an initiative aimed at 11–19-year-olds to help give them the skills, insights and experience needed to kick-start a career in STEM.

Inspired by HM King Charles III, Patron of Industrial Cadets, the initiative was set up to help encourage young people to consider careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) industries, gaining valuable skills to help them into a career.

Representatives from Industrial Cadets met with the team from SSEN Transmission to launch the partnership in its Perth office.
Representatives from Industrial Cadets met with the team from SSEN Transmission to launch the partnership in its Perth office.

The collaborative partnership aims to inspire young people to understand the exciting careers open to them locally through Green Skills and Net Zero jobs.

Young people can become Industrial Cadets at gold, silver or bronze levels by undertaking a set number of hours of relevant activities designed to:

• Give them an insight into both the employer and the industry within which they are placed.

• Help them to develop relevant workplace skills beneficial for their CVs.

• Help them to gain awareness of the type of jobs that are available in local industry and the routes into careers within those specialisms.

SSEN Transmission owns and operates the high-voltage electricity transmission network across the north of Scotland, spanning from Argyll in the west coast, to Peterhead in the north-east, as well as the Highlands and islands including the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.

Headquartered in Perth, the company has offices across the country and a team of more than 1800 people spread throughout Scotland.

With the need to expand the high-voltage network to connect the huge increase of new renewable energy generation across Scotland to help fight climate change, SSEN Transmission is looking to support the next generation of engineers who will be essential to help deliver the energy transition across the country as the UK advances towards net zero.

Starting with the next school year in August, hundreds of schools across the north of Scotland have been invited to sign-up to the new initiative, which will allow pupils the opportunity to get involved in Industrial Cadets.

Sessions will be carried out with schools to help inform them about the challenges of the electricity network, and what needs to be done to help create a network for net zero which will help secure power for generations.

Dave McKay, director of asset management and Operations at SSEN Transmission, said: “We have a huge job ahead of us to make sure we have a network which is fit for the future, and we can only get there if we have the right people to help us deliver this.

“It is so important that we inspire the engineers of tomorrow, today – and that means encouraging the next generation to consider a career in energy and demonstrate the huge variety of opportunities available to them in this sector.

“Partnerships such as the Industrials Cadets programme do exactly that and give young people a taste of what they can do with a career in energy and how they can play a part in the fight against climate change.

“We’re excited to be involved and look forward to welcoming the first students to the initiative in the next school year.”

Julie Feest, CEO at the engineering development Trust said: “EDT and Industrial Cadets are delighted to announce this new partnership with SSEN Transmission.

“Industrial Cadets is a widely recognised, accredited awards scheme increasing diversity and inspiring young people through industry-based experiences to become part of the workforce of the future.

With this partnership with SSEN Transmission and their suppliers, we are able to promote the exciting opportunities for young people in work readiness programmes towards their first career.

“This is such an exciting time of growth in Scotland and we are delighted to be a part of a focus on Energy Partnerships to excite young people about their future.

“It is also a first step towards recognising the importance of the link between outreach and recruitment for companies focused on growth of early talent.”

SSEN Transmission is at the forefront of the UK’s efforts to tackle the climate emergency by creating a network for net zero emissions and connecting and transporting Scotland’s vast renewable resources to where it is needed most.

The business is growing rapidly, with new office spaces opened in Perth and Aberdeen and new operational warehouses being constructed in Dundee and Inverness.

The company is committed to supporting early career development and has been a proud member of The 5% Club since 2021.

This means that at least five per cent of all employees across the business in “earn as you learn” roles, from apprenticeships to graduate placements.

In June this year they welcomed their biggest ever in-take of summer students, with 32 new team members getting started on a 12-week placement with teams throughout the business.

More than 500 new roles are being created this year, with jobs based throughout Scotland.

Visit SSE Careers at https://careers.sse.com/ to learn more about what careers are currently available with SSEN Transmission.

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