Learning and developmentWe are committed to helping colleagues meet their full potential, through a wide range of training and personal development opportunities.

Supporting staff in their own progression is not only vital for job satisfaction, it helps to ensure we are delivering a consistently high quality service to our customers.

Each year, we develop a training plan based on business and personal development needs. In 2013/14, our training and development team delivered 22,663 days of training to our 5,307 employees, investing the equivalent of £879.40 per person.

Key developments include:

A new state of the art training centre: we are investing £1.3M in our own Technical Training Centre, opening in December 14. The centre will be a base for the delivery of all our own accredited technical programmes, with the planned curriculum already accredited by EAL (Excellence and Achievement Learning) and CABWI (Certification and Assessment Board for the Water Industry).

Employee survey: we use an external provider to canvass employees’ views on our training provisions. Latest results show that 75 per cent of employees are actively engaged in learning and development, an increase of 3 per cent from the 2013 survey. Compared with external benchmarks, we achieve levels of UK high performance in the area of personal development and growth for our employees.

Competency assessment: last year we piloted a new assessment tool to see if it could help us to measure effectively employee competencies. Based on the results, we are now planning to roll this out across the wider business.

Online learning zone: we have an average 2,500 visits per month to our online learning zone – a portal on the company’s intranet available for all employees to find support and guidance to aid their development and career. This year we have added 70 new modules to our existing catalogue of 400 e-learning courses.

Awards: during 2013/14 we gained three industry awards for learning and development, including the Utility Week Staff Development Award and a People Development award from the HR Distinction Awards.

Developing our managers and leaders: we continue to develop the skills of our line managers, and in 2013/14 we expanded the level of this support. Employee perceptions of line manager capability has improved year on year, from 73 per cent in 2013 to 76 per cent in 2014.

If you would like to send us a comment about this report, please email our Head of Sustainability, Chris Matthews