IU Energy interns are powering ahead

Two Plymouth women are now establishing careers in the energy industry and helping south west businesses become more sustainable, thanks to the Santander Graduate Internship Programme. Initially recruited through this scheme, Plymouth University graduates Noreen Jefferies and Rebecca Cavanagh have now been employed permanently as graduate trainees with IU Energy.

IU Energy is one of 50 South West businesses to have benefited from the Santander Internship Programme, in partnership with Plymouth University, through GAIN (the Growth Acceleration and Investment Network). The programme supports and encourages SME’s to create short-term paid internships for graduates, which is partly funded through the scheme. Nearly 70 per cent of interns go on to secure permanent positions within their work place. Both Noreen and Rebecca have secured permanent positions with IU Energy after a successful and rewarding internship position.

The scheme appealed to IU Energy, as Duncan Banks, CEO of IU Energy, explains:

“IU Energy is going through a period of rapid growth, particularly as energy savings become more important to businesses. When we needed bright and talented trainees we could accelerate through the firm, Plymouth University was the natural place to turn. The internship programme was a great way for us to recruit Rebecca and Noreen and we are delighted they are now excelling.”

Noreen  graduated from Plymouth University after completing a degree in Civil and Coastal Engineering, followed by a Masters in Sustainable Environment Management. Noreen is building on her engineering training in the energy consultancy team, carrying out detailed surveys to establish how much energy a business is using and devise ways for the firm to reduce consumption.She said:

“Many of my skills are transferable yet businesses are understandably reluctant to employ staff with no previous experience in the sector. The internship programme bridged the gap by giving me valuable experience while my employers have been supported in recruiting a graduate.”

Rebecca also graduated from Plymouth University with a BA (Hons) Degree in History and was working for the university before applying to the programme. Rebecca is developing a role in business administration and has a particular interest in marketing, studying for the CIM Diploma in Digital Marketing in her own time. She said:

“I wanted to build upon my skills by becoming part of a business with drive and enthusiasm, and learn about an industry which was new to me.” 

Sally Sharpe, Plymouth University’s Business Development Manager, said:

“The programme is creating new skilled jobs, while giving graduates a route into the workforce and retaining talent in the region.”

Story originally published in the Western Morning News & The Herald 19 May 2015.

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