South West Water helped secondary school students discover new career options as part of its work experience programme.  

During the week-long placement, students got stuck into exploring the work that takes place in areas such as customer services, operations, engineering, IT, sustainability, marketing, and the laboratory. There was also the chance to take part in a careers and speed networking event where they got to hear from colleagues from across the business.

The placements support South West Water’s drive to attract young talent from across the region with targets to recruit a total of 200 graduates, 1,000 apprentices and host 5,000 work experience opportunities and work placements by 2030.

Feedback from the students was very positive, with many planning to apply for apprenticeships at South West Water following their placements.

Tilly Welsman said: “I really enjoyed the work experience week at South West Water. The many tasks and topics throughout the week were all super informative whilst also being fun. It was beyond my expectations. 

“The large variety of topics allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of what I would enjoy and would fit me more as a career. Whilst I learned lots of information about the company, I also learnt about our environment, which I didn’t know beforehand.

“My friend and I who also took part within the week are both considering apprenticeships, it really meant a lot!”

Charlotte Goddard, another work experience student, said: “I enjoyed the chance to see many different aspects of the business and learn about the processes of clean and wastewater treatment. The most memorable sessions were the site visits because they allowed me to truly understand the importance of South West Water in our daily lives, where I can turn on a tap and instantly receive fresh drinking water.

“Observing the variety of potential job roles and careers was very useful to me, accompanied by informative conversations with site and office staff.”

Nigel Fenn, head of people projects and planning at South West Water said: “As one of the largest companies in the South West, we are always striving to boost the region’s economy and invest in new talent by offering students the chance to experience and discover different possible career paths available to them. We’re supporting and looking to hire the next generation of employees and we all want the same thing, to attract new talent to help support our ambitious plans to protect and enhance the natural environment.”