SOUTH West Water has welcomed a new group of graduates as the company continues to invest in its future leaders.

Thirty graduates, chosen from across the region and beyond, have started the two-year scheme. It kicked off with a week-long induction featuring visits to the water company’s key sites and a chance to meet senior leaders.

The graduate programme includes a chartered management institute programme, as well as a variety of placements to help study the organisation’s different areas – from operations and engineering to customer services.

Each graduate is offered a permanent contract from day one – highlighting South West Water’s commitment to training young people for the key technical and managerial roles of the future.

It comes after the company recently announced plans to double its apprenticeship and graduate schemes to recruit 1,000 young people by 2030 and 2,000 jobs.

Adele Barker, Pennon Group Chief People Officer, said: “Our Chief Executive Officer, Susan Davy, and I were delighted to speak to our new graduates and welcome them at the start of their careers with South West Water.

“Investing in the next generation forms an important part of our commitment to the region, and these future leaders will help us deliver on our ambitious plans for increasing water resilience and protecting the environment.”

Nigel Fenn MBE, Head of People, Projects and Planning at South West Water, said: “Our programme is carefully designed to ensure graduates learn and experience as much as they can before they transition into their final job roles as they complete the programme.

“And the evidence suggests it’s going from strength-to-strength, with ambitious graduates largely choosing to remain within the company despite the attractions of a competitive job market.”

Sophie Irons has joined the wastewater management team, which includes conducting environmental investigations and fault finding.

She said: “Last year I finished my degree in astrophysics, but I’ve always been interested in the environmental sector and sustainability. I really love the way South West Water values sustainability and it was something I really wanted to go into.”

Asisat Salinsile initially joined South West Water in February as an intern, before transitioning into the graduate scheme last month. Her first placement is with the environmental permitting team.

Asisat said: “I’m excited to gain lots of experience within the various placements on the graduate scheme. I’m also really excited to learn more about the water industry, how it works, and gain a deeper understanding of environmental law.’’