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Future Leaders course achieves key accreditation

Britain’s biggest electricity distributor is putting the focus on its future leaders through an upgraded training programme.

UK Power Networks, which keeps the lights on in London, the South East and East Anglia, has achieved accreditation from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) for its innovative Future Leaders course.

The bespoke programme, designed in-house, is into its third year and has now been approved to deliver ILM qualifications for the first time for a certificate level five in leadership and management.

The Future Leaders course identifies key talent within UK Power Networks who have the ability, commitment and motivation to fill a senior manager or equivalent role within the next few years.

Sarah Porcelli, head of learning and development at UK Power Networks, said: “This is important accreditation for a course which we feel has gone from strength to strength. Of those who completed the course in the first two years more than 70% of them have either gained a senior management position or had an increase in responsibility.

“Working with employees earmarked to be leaders of the business is integral to the company’s future success as it is giving the right people the right level of training at the right stage of their careers.

“By choosing ILM we are now working with the leading provider of leadership and management qualifications in the UK and part of the wider City and Guilds Group: a global leader in skills development.”

Bruce Barnes, who first joined the company 15 years ago, was recently promoted to Operations Manager, working out of Tunbridge Wells and looking after the West of Kent.

He said: “I first joined the company on an apprenticeship and have recently been promoted to an Operational Manager for West Kent. In total I’m now managing 66 members of staff so it’s been good to put aspects of the course into practice and bring what I’ve learned into play.

“Just because I’m now in a management position doesn’t mean I want to stop learning so while it’s challenging doing the course at the same time, it’s really useful.

“It has opened my eyes a bit to the opportunities across the company in other directorates. You sometimes have a little bit of tunnel vision in terms of your own area so it’s been good to learn what other directorates do and it’s been good for networking across the whole of the business. This is such a large organisation and there are a lot of opportunites.”

Preethi George, Procurement Category Manager Indirects who lives in Luton and is based in London has been with the company for over five years and is midway through this course along with 13 others, said: “The course provides a great insight into the overall organisation.

“The programme’s focus on leadership has given me awareness in developing my strengths and building my exposure of other areas of the business.

“This course has helped me understand myself better as a person, provided me with a great opportunity of networking with people from across the business who similar to me are aspiring Leaders.

“By investing in this programme the company has shown that it cares about providing growth opportunities to employees who want to develop and aspire to be leaders.”

This initiative, with its focus on obtaining external recognition for its employee development programmes, is aligned with the company’s vision to be an employer of choice and one of the Sunday Times Top 30 Best Big Companies to work for.