We are investing in training and jobs, skills and education, and providing our people the opportunity to do great things.
Our major investments are not just about new infrastructure or technologies; they are about training and jobs, skills and education. There is no industrial strategy without a people strategy.
Whether it is signing an innovative agreement with our supply chain partners creating thousands of job opportunities, or reaching out to our communities through our visitor centres, what we do has a lasting impact on people’s lives and the communities we serve.
Through education we are inspiring the next generation, so the UK can continue the journey to a stronger, low-carbon future. Investing in people will make sure the future of our company is a bright one.
We have a long history of investing in the local communities around our operations. This is particularly true of our power stations, which are often based in rural and remote areas.
With offices and power stations all over the country, we create jobs and opportunities that invigorate local economies. But it is our people, in particular, who are a force for good, strengthening their communities by volunteering and fundraising for charities and good causes. Giving back to our communities has helped make us the credible and trusted company we are today.
We recognise that volunteering has many benefits, from helping us to understand better and serve our communities, developing the skills of our people and building pride in our business. But most of all, giving back to the communities that support us is the right thing to do.
We support our people up to two days or 15 hours of volunteering time during the year.
Every year, our people also give their own time to supporting their local communities through volunteering and fundraising.
From inspiring young people in schools and during science festivals, to taking part in diversity and inclusion initiatives and improving the environment our role goes far beyond our day-to-day activities.
We support good causes both locally and nationally. Through community funds in and around our power stations and wind farms, and as part of our charity partnerships, fundraising is a keystone of our culture. It brings people together and builds a sense of wider purpose.
In October 2016, we launched a three-year partnership with Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer charity.
Our new charity partner was chosen by our people and our target is to raise £100,000 a year. EDF Energy will match funds raised by our people by up to £50,000, per annum making a total target of £450,000.
The Pod, our online schools programme, is part of our ambition to inspire the next generation in tackling climate change. It encourages young people and their families to choose a more sustainable lifestyle. It helps children understand that a low carbon, secure and affordable energy supply is vital for the future.
The Pod provides free, curriculum-linked resources for teachers and runs national campaigns for schools. It gives young people hands-on science experience, raises awareness of climate change and other environmental issues. The Pod also profiles female scientists to encourage more girls in to science studies and careers.
We also work to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and encourage science and engineering as a career choice.
How we measure our progress
What we measure: the success of our Force for Good Community programme, which involves:
- engaging our people to increase volunteering levels
- establishing regular activities to support our charity partnership
- helping schools use The Pod, our online sustainability learning programme
These goals replace our previous targets around volunteering and numbers of POD schools as we review our programmes to ensure they have the right impact as well as the right numbers.
How are we doing
Our three-year charity partnership with Marie Curie ended on 30 April 2016. Our people raised a total of £665,000, and EDF Energy’s £100,000 annual match funding brought the total donation over the three years to £965,000. That funded over 48,000 hours of home nursing care.
From 1 May until the end of September, during the Rio Paralympic Games, EDF Energy people raised about £28,000 for ParalympicsGB. Match funding brought the total to £56,000.
Our Generation business unit renewed its sponsorship of the wheelchair rugby team in Gloucester, helping them grow their membership.
We have also sponsored many causes to support our local communities, such as our £20,000 donation to the flood relief effort around our sites in Heysham.
Our Steps into Work programme providing nine-month internships to help adults with disabilities into work has continued from strength to strength. We are into the fourth year of the scheme co-created by National Star College and EDF Energy. So far,10 out of the12 programme graduates have gained employment either within EDF Energy or elsewhere.
Business pressures have affected our volunteering. In 2016, 6% of our people volunteered, compared to our target of 15%. In 2015 this was 8.3%.
Though fewer people could volunteer last year, the time our people volunteered stayed stable. At the end of 2016, we had volunteered an average of 0.6 hours per person.
We are also working to increase the amount of volunteering in areas of particular need. Thus, the hours spent volunteering to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) to young people increased by 90%, predominantly in the Generation part of our business.
STEM volunteering includes our employees supporting a range of events including the Cheltenham Science Festival, Big Bang Festival, Bristol Harbour Festival, Royal Bath and West Show, Edinburgh Science Festival. Such events help to raise awareness of STEM studies and related careers.
We want to increase the number of people volunteering, however business pressures are likely to endure. In order to get the best out of volunteering for our people, our business and the communities we will be reviewing our volunteering programmes. Ensuring we provide more clarity on opportunities available and being more inclusive will be a priority for us in 2017.
The Pod, our digital schools programme, marked its eighth birthday in 2016. More than 22,200, or 66%, of UK schools and more than 38,400 teachers, have registered with the programme.
2,619 schools signed up to The Pod’s 2016 Switch Off Fortnight campaign, which teaches young people about energy saving, encouraging them to act at school and share their experience to inspire others.
In September 2016 we launched Power Patrol, a new interactive game featuring Zingy. Power Patrol teaches students about energy and helps engage young people in many values and causes, like anti-bullying, diversity and inclusion.
In October 2016 we also released a short film about wind power.
The POD impact survey in 2016 found that 63% of users say ‘the Pod helps us stand out from other energy companies’ (2015 was 69%). And 97% of students say the Pod made science more fun or exciting. In May 2017 we will launch a brand new Pod website.
Diversity and inclusion have long been key pillars of our People Strategy. We want our people to think and act as one company, while valuing different experiences, backgrounds and cultures. This not only strengthens our business but benefits our customers.
We want to attract and retain people from the widest pool to bring new perspectives that open doors to innovative thinking, giving us a competitive edge. Diversity in our people is vital to understand our customers so we can better serve their needs.
Our vision for Diversity and Inclusion is to capture the value that difference brings. Our activities are guided by seven principles:
- Our people have the tools, awareness and commitment to live, breathe and promote our D&I principles and make this part of 'business as usual'.
- We have a working environment where individual differences are valued and our employees are encouraged to understand, respect and embrace diversity.
- We recruit, develop, nurture[PC(E1] and promote the very best person for every job ensuring that we treat everyone fairly, with respect, and select from the widest possible pool of talent.
- We use our influence as a significant supplier and procurer of products and services to encourage and promote diversity through the supply chain and within local communities.
- We have a working environment that respects individuals' responsibilities and their wish to balance work and personal life.
- We appreciate and meet the diverse range of needs of all our customers ensuring we have a reputation as an organisation that has diversity and inclusion as a core value.
- We have robust and clear data to measure our progress. We benchmark ourselves against the best.
To support our work, we currently have six employee networks governed by a Diversity and Inclusion Action Group. The networks help us to attract, recruit, develop and maintain diverse talent and share experience and ideas across the business. These networks are:
- Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic
- Disability and Carers Network
- LGBT Supporters Network
- Women’s Network
- Working Parents Network
- Forces Support Network
- Young Professionals
Finally, we assess our activities through the National Equality Standard and in 2015 we were awarded a National Equality Standard (NES) certification. This involved us being assessed for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies against 70 factors set out within the NES framework. The next reassessment for NES certification is due to take place in 2018.
How we measure progress
The diversity of our senior leaders is important as they set the direction and culture of our organisation. We need to be finding the best people from the widest pools of talent. Diverse leadership ensures we continue to challenge ourselves to achieve and innovate.
What we measure: percentage of women and ethnic minorities in leadership positions.
Our goal: to maintain the National Equality Standard (NES) and deliver our Inclusion Strategy by 2019.
For the first time we have set targets to be achieved by 2030 at employee, manager and senior leadership levels for gender and minority ethnic groups. We will be launching these during our Diversity & Inclusion Week in May 2017.
How are we doing
We had many highlights from our diversity and inclusion work in 2016. We moved up the Stonewall Equality Index rankings to number 68 and entered the Times Top 50 Best Places for Women to Work for the first time.
We celebrated our Diversity and Inclusion week in May 2016 across 30 sites, with network events going on during the first half of the year. We also attended Pride in Exeter and Bristol, and in London.
We agreed diversity targets on Gender and BAME inclusion by 2030 at employee, manager and senior manager level and introduced business unit action plans to help us achieve these targets. We also:
- agreed a range of measures with our Executive Team to improve diversity as we recruit our people, and started to put these in place
- engaged trade unions in our Diversity and Inclusion plans for the next two years
- We introduced a range of new measures in early careers recruitment, improving the gender diversity of our apprentices – 22% were female in 2016, compared with 8% the previous year.
- We started to measure the success of female employees in our talent assessments.
During 2016, Occupational Health held roadshows to provide line managers with advice and guidance about improving our people’s health and wellbeing. Our Human Resources and Occupational Health teams support employees with disabilities or who are absent with long-term health conditions.
LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER
- In 2016, our LGBT Supporters Network ran ‘No Bystanders’ workshops with our people at Cannington Court, Heysham 2 Power Station and other locations. The workshops aimed to help people tackle unacceptable language and bullying in the workplace.
- The LGBT Supporters Network also attended National Student Pride at the University of Westminster in London in February 2016 to raise awareness of our careers and skills development. 1,500 students from more than 120 academic institutions, attended the event, making it one of the UK’s largest gatherings of LGBT students.
- The Network also collaborated with InterEngineering to run a workshop and publish a report on making careers in the engineering sector more LGBT-inclusive.
WORKING PARENTS NETWORK
The network supported National Work Life Balance week in October 2016 including a webinar on Why Flexible Working is a Win/Win.
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS NETWORK
The network hosted a series of events throughout the year including hosting a power station visit for interested employees to Sizewell B power station.
In 2016 we signed the Government’s Armed Forces Covenant. Our Forces network supports former Armed Services personnel who now work, or are about to join, EDF Energy. They aim to maximises the contribution that their military experience brings to the company and helps EDF Energy be an employer of choice for Service leavers.
We understand that it is our challenge to anticipate the long-term transformation of our country, our society, our business and our competitors. The challenges ahead are enormous. That’s why we are turning our attention to the future generations who will be called on to meet them.
Over the coming years, if the UK is going to stay an international success story, we will need an extra 1.8 million engineers to deliver new major infrastructure projects and imagine future technologies.
YOUNG PEOPLE AND STEM
We want to help young people develop their confidence, competence and personal values, including being inclusive and open to the world. With this in mind, last year we became a strategic partner with the National Citizen Service, one of the largest youth social action programmes for 15 to 17-year-olds in the UK. This builds on our support of HRH The Prince of Wales’ #iwill campaign.
86% of people working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in the UK are male. We want to engage girls in STEM careers to make sure we have the very best talent driving innovation for years to come.
Pretty Curious is our innovative, multi-channel platform encouraging girls to get into STEM. Aimed at girls aged 11-16 and their parents, the campaign combines traditional media and digital channels, as well as offline and online experiential activities, to address common misconceptions about STEM and spark girls' curiosity.
Our apprenticeship programme is an example of how we prepare for the future by investing in the present. Some of our apprentices are involved in the national roll-out of millions of smart meters in customers’ homes and businesses. These meters are transforming the way our customers understand and engage with energy.
Other apprentices are supporting the life extension of our nuclear power stations, using innovative technology to address new and complex challenges. And, of course, our new nuclear power station project at Hinkley Point C will put 1,000 apprentices at the centre of the construction and operation of the first in a brand new generation of nuclear power stations across the UK.
We continuously develop new talent by:
- developing our sponsored student pipeline, mentoring students throughout their final year at university
- recruiting people into the Work Insight Programme through the Social Mobility Foundation
- supporting the Social Mobility Foundation’s development event, giving final year degree students insights into how we assess and select graduates
- running a summer school programme for female students who might be interested in the Engineering Maintenance Apprenticeship
- engaging and educating Visitor Centre Coordinators to improve the way we communicate about our early careers opportunities
- developing relationships with universities, to allow us to recruit new graduates from suitable courses
We develop the skills and capabilities of our existing workforce through Campus, our network of modern training facilities, and our e-learning tools. Whether it’s by developing their professional expertise with our Company Makers’ programme or by getting involved in our volunteering activities, many of our people engage with the initiatives we make available.
Our Campus Network epitomises our ambition for our people. Combining 16 sites and a dedicated digital platform, it gives our people the tools to continuously learn, develop and prepare for the future. My Campus is also a useful tool for the provision of a wide range of skills to support employee volunteering interests outside our company from upskilling on how to be a sports coach to being a school governor.
Cannington Court is a symbol of our commitment to embracing the future without losing sight of the past. Our flagship training centre in Somerset is a place for everyone. In its first full year of operation, people from all parts of the business paid Cannington Court a visit.
As well as cross-company training courses and team-building days, it plays host to our smart metering apprentice training and a simulator we use to train our people in the fundamentals of nuclear power stations.
TRAINING AND SKILLS
We invest significantly in training and development infrastructure for the Nuclear Power Academy at Barnwood. This ensures our employees are equipped with the latest skills and competence for today’s nuclear industry and for the new nuclear age.
We are also supporting the skills gap within and beyond our sector. There is a national shortage of steel-fixers in the UK – the men and women who create the steel frames inside concrete. Working in collaboration with Bridgewater College in Somerset we developed a training course which is attended not only by our workforce but also by workers from other UK infrastructure projects across Britain.
How we measure our progress
What we measure: EDF Energy’s success depends on an engaged and skilled workforce. To help build this for the future, we are investing in education and skills development in young people.
We spend around £2.4m per year on education programmes and our goal is to deliver our skills and education strategy to ensure this has the impact we need for us and the UK. This goal continues from those we set ourselves in 2013, which were to increase the number of apprentices and graduates we take on from our early careers and future capabilities programmes.
The skills of our current employees are also important. We have an existing target that by 2018, all our people will have experienced our Campus network and used this experience to tangibly improve their performance and productivity at work
How are we doing
Last year we engaged with more than 2,500 young people at the Big Bang Science Festival in Birmingham. Our Hinkley Point C Inspire education programme in the South West has given more than 100,000 young people experience and insight into careers related to Hinkley Point C.
We hope raising awareness of STEM-related careers on the Hinkley Point C project will lead to greater interest from girls in studying science at higher education level. Events in 2016 included a low-carbon residential programme. 48 students visited Hinkley Point B and C and took part in challenges to learn about construction and managing radiation. Other events have included chemistry experience days for primary school children, guided tours of Hinkley Point B power station, and interactive biodiversity activities at Hinkley Point Nature Reserve.
From January to September 2016, the Inspire programme ran a total of 97 STEM and skills activities, working with more than 100 institutions, allowing us to engage with over 14,700 young people.
We organised exciting events up and down the country in 2016. More than 1,000 girls took part in fun, hands-on activities designed to engage them in science and engineering. 92% of the students who took part told us we made STEM more interesting to them – a great result!
We reached even more girls through our digital campaign and Pretty Curious cinema advert. In 2017 we will take the campaign even further, imagining more innovative ways to reach out to girls, their families and their teachers.
Today, our people can professionally train, learn and develop through one of our seven Business Line academies. We will keep growing both our onsite and online facilities in 2017. With major projects to deliver across our business over the coming years, we are investing in our existing and future leaders.
In 2016 our Campus Leadership Development Centre of Excellence supported more than 290 leaders while they developed the skills they need to collaborate and manage their teams. Our Campus team constantly looks at new and innovative ways of learning. Virtual reality is one example. Working closely with operational teams in our Generation division, they developed a virtual reality tool which helps people understand the principles of our Zero Harm programme. Throughout 2016, 13,188 of our staff benefitted from over 730,000 hours of training.
Using a virtual replica of two floors of Hinkley Point B power station, the tool lets employees at our nuclear sites put their health and safety training into action. By interacting with hazards virtually, our employees can get to grips with Zero Harm without being exposed to actual risk. 73% of our people have experienced Campus either by visiting Cannington Court or by logging into MyCampus, which saw a 17% increase in page views compared to the previous year. The platform now supports 952 pieces of digital learning content. MyCampus had 21,112 registered users (16,154 employees and 4,958 contractors) in 2016.
EDF Energy became signatory to the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board’s (ECITB) Skills Charter in December 2015. The skills charter recognises EDF Energy’s commitment to skills development to ensure the long-term competence and training of its workforce. The signing also underpins EDF Energy and the ECITB’s promise to develop new talent to feed the future of the nuclear industry in the UK and to help close a national skills gap.
Internal Communications Consultant
"By bringing Steps Into Work into the organisation we are opening up a recruitment pipeline of young people who will introduce us to innovative ways of working and problem solving. As our business diversifies over the coming years, our organisation will need to respond to a more diverse range of needs, allowing us to become a more inclusive employer."
“I chair the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) network, which works within EDF Energy to better understand and address race and ethnicity issues among employees, customers and local communities."
Our six Better Energy Ambitions set out our short, medium and long-term goals and targets for improving our social, economic and environmental performance.