Our ambition is to improve skills, education, employability and opportunity for 1 million people by 2025.
At Drax, our approach is organised around five global themes, which we implement in different local contexts:
- STEM and green jobs: making a contribution to embedding STEM in the education system, from year one to degree level and lifelong learning.
- A good neighbour: effective engagement between our sites and local communities.
- A regional development partner: understanding and optimising our contribution to the economic prosperity of the regions in which we have operations.
- Diversity, equity and inclusion: creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all, irrespective of background, gender, family need, ethnicity, disability or sexuality,
- Talent pipeline: ensuring we, as Drax, have a sufficient pipeline of talent to meet our current and future needs.
Building the skills of the future
We are a signatory to the UK cross-party Social Mobility Pledge, which is committed to accessing and progressing talent from all backgrounds.
In 2021 we supported 63 students with virtual work experience, helping to develop their business awareness, career aspirations and employability skills, as well as providing us with a talent pipeline. We have also continued to focus on using apprenticeships to recruit new talent and develop our existing colleagues. We have recruited 11 new apprentices across the UK and supported five apprentices in other companies through the levy share scheme; where we have pledged £125,000 of our levy to develop talent in companies local to our sites. In addition to new apprentices, 42 colleagues have embarked on apprenticeship qualifications this year, with specific focus on developing our engineering capability, as well as other core skills to future focus the talent within our business.
In 2021 we recruited nine graduates, to take our graduate numbers back to pre-pandemic levels. We are continuing to secure permanent roles for graduates who have completed the programme and 100% of our 2019 graduate cohort secured a position within Drax.
Our internship programme also provides a pipeline of talent. We have taken on five ‘Year in Industry’ students during 2021 and offered three previous interns permanent positions.
Community and charity
We deliver charitable and employee volunteering initiatives in the communities where we operate. We provide donations through employee match funding, payroll giving, our community fund, community partnerships and fundraising days.
In 2021, our corporate charitable giving activity included a C$50,000 donation to Canada’s Red Cross to support relief efforts for communities affected by wildfires in British Columbia. We also extended our 2020 Laptops for Learners initiative in the UK, donating a total of 1,173 laptops with internet access to around 80 schools and colleges.