Haven Power, one of Drax Group’s customer businesses which specialises in supplying businesses with renewable electricity, is working with The Careers & Enterprise Company and the New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network, to provide young people in the Ipswich Opportunity Area with access to lessons to provide them with essential skills such as interview techniques and CV writing, as well as work experience programmes, enabling them to make informed choices about their future.
In a nationwide ‘Social Mobility Index’ carried out in 2017, Ipswich ranked very low, coming in at 292 out of the 324 local authority areas. The index assessed the chances that a disadvantaged child (measured by eligibility for free school meals) will perform and get a job.
As a result, the town was selected by the Department for Education as one of 12 Opportunity Areas in England to receive an equal share of £72 million. The funding will deliver plans to build the knowledge and skills of local young people and provide them with the best advice and opportunities to progress in their career.
Part of the programme will focus on greater collaboration to bridge the gap between education and employers – an initiative Haven Power has committed to support.
Paul Sheffield, Managing Director of Drax’s customer businesses, including Haven Power, said:
“Drax is committed to supporting social mobility in the communities where we work, so we’re delighted to join the Cornerstone Employer programme. When businesses work together with community partners to boost education, it helps improve opportunities for people from all backgrounds to develop their careers and ensures the workforce of the future has the skills employers need.
“Encouraging young people to study STEM subjects helps to ensure we have skilled and creative people who can develop the innovative, smart technologies needed to help businesses become more sustainable, and play an important role in addressing the climate crisis.”
Jordan Holder, Enterprise Coordinator for New Anglia LEP, said:
“I am thrilled that Haven Power are committing their time to supporting young people in Ipswich to have more meaningful encounters with the world of work. Haven Power is our first Cornerstone Employer to represent the energy sector in Ipswich and it’s crucial more young people are aware of the fantastic opportunities available to them on their doorsteps.
“Haven have already gone above and beyond prior to becoming a Cornerstone Employer with supporting Ipswich Academy with two volunteer ‘Enterprise Advisers’ from the business. Additionally, they have supported a variety of activities at the school including funding a Greenpower racing car for the students to learn about STEM.”
The New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network is a national programme being delivered at a local level across Norfolk and Suffolk, recruiting senior business leaders to work voluntarily with secondary schools and colleges as ‘Enterprise Advisers’. Enterprise Advisers work strategically with senior leaders in schools and colleges, supporting them to develop and enhance their business engagement plans. The aim, to improve the quality and consistency of careers, work related & enterprise education delivered to students and to broker activities with businesses and enterprise providers. The volunteers will bring their wealth of knowledge and experience of the world of work to help develop a comprehensive action plan for careers education, fully supporting young people between 11 and 18 years old.
The New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Programme has been developed from Lord Young’s ‘Enterprise for All’ report which highlighted the importance of “motivating young people to learn and excel in their education…to see the relevance of their studies”. With support from the national Careers and Enterprise Company, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership working through its partners in Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils is delivering this national programme across the East.
In 2017, Ipswich was identified as one of the lowest performing areas in England in a nationwide ‘Social Mobility Index’. The index assessed the chances that a disadvantaged child (measured by whether they are eligible for free school meals) will perform well and get a job. Ipswich ranked 292 out of the 324 local authority areas included.
Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030.
Its 2,900-strong employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.
Drax owns and operates a portfolio of flexible, low carbon and renewable electricity generation assets across Britain. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.
Having converted two thirds of Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.
Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan. It also owns and operates four gas power stations in England.
Drax owns two B2B energy supply businesses:
- Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity and energy services to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.
- Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity, energy services and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.
Drax owns and operates three pellet mills in the US South which manufacture compressed wood pellets (biomass) produced from sustainably managed working forests. These pellet mills supply around 20% of the biomass used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.
For more information visit www.drax.com/uk