5th November 2014
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The announcement was made today (Monday 3 November) by Business, Innovation & Skills Secretary Vince Cable at the launch of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, which is aimed at encouraging more people to take up careers in engineering, given the national shortage of skilled engineers.
The Government and South West Water are to co-invest more than £250,000 to support staff in developing engineering skills within the water and sewerage company.
The 3-year training programme, which is due to start in January 2015, will support:
• Career progression training for engineers
• Re-skilling or up-skilling employees
• Conversion training from other occupations within the business, or creating pathways for technician or engineering professionals to chartered status. 
A total of 86 existing South West Water employees are expected to benefit directly, including engineering technicians in Waste Water, Drinking Water, Operational Services and Engineering, some of whom will undertake a Level 4 Diploma in Water Industry Operations and Management.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:  “Engineering is central to supporting Britain’s economic growth and maintaining a competitive edge. To make sure this continues we must increase the supply of highly skilled and talented engineers. The Employer Ownership Fund supports employers to deliver the skills and training they need for their business can grow and thrive. I am pleased to announce that we are joining forces with South West Water to unlock the potential of their current and future employees.”
Chris Loughlin, Chief Executive at South West Water, said:  “The Employer Ownership Fund provides a welcome boost to our training and development portfolio, helping us to develop a new generation of engineers and technical staff.  Over the next ten years up to 40 per cent of our operational staff are due to retire, so it’s important that we continue to have a steady supply of trained talent for tomorrow. 
“This training project will supplement our other development programmes, including a comprehensive Apprenticeship scheme, and open up some exciting new career opportunities for our employees.”

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