Water awareness boosted amongst school pupils, to help reduce impacts on the environment

Pupils have been learning about the importance of reducing water waste, as part of work with Water Plus, the largest water retailer in the UK, which is also involved in a school Careers Hub

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Water Plus is part of a Careers Hub and a Careers Enterprise Programme to encourage people into work in the future. In November – and October, the company hosted school pupil visits at their main office to learn more from those working there about jobs, learning, qualifications and other elements of employment.

The company is also highlighting water efficiency information and tips to organisations, including schools – and school pupils – under their #BeWiseOnWater awareness campaign.

More than 60 pupils from Christ Church Academy, in Stone, Staffordshire, have visited the Water Plus main offices, so far in 2022, and met staff in areas including IT, Customer Service, Commercial and the Executive team at the business, including the Chief Executive. The water retailer also has a base in Scotland.

During the November visit, children were asked to turn off taps while brushing teeth, to reduce water waste (and carbon emissions linked to providing the water). Where less water needs to be heated there is also an energy saving too.

Mrs Claire Thomas, Associate Assistant Principal at Christ Church Academy, said: “The initial pupils who visited Water Plus found this very helpful to learn more about different job roles and what it’s like to work in and around offices with a company that has customers all across England and Scotland. It’s brilliant Water Plus have joined the Careers Hub to deliver workshops and visits – to help build interest and curiosity around the world of work to help young people for the future.

Most pupils I spoke to, after Water Plus staff took part in a Careers Day at the school, said they were much more aware of the importance of saving water. They were able to quote a variety of different methods, including not leaving taps on when brushing teeth and shorter showers. Some pupils also stated that they are much more aware of how privileged they are in terms of their access to clean water.”

Water Plus has also worked with schools in Glasgow and Cumbria – and other areas in England this year, to help increase awareness around the benefits of looking closer at water use – and is sharing tips of areas where water can be saved. It also recently won two National Sustainability Awards for work with organisations in England and Scotland.

Scott MacIndeor, Head of Advanced Services at water retailer Water Plus, said: “Regular water checks at school – and sites generally – is worth the time, along with checking water meter readings regularly – ideally every month, or more often during term time, throughout a year, if it’s safe to access. Small steps can really add up to great results for schools and lower utility bill costs, even saving energy when less hot water is used through more water efficiency.”

The water retailer, which works with organisations including the public sector, providing water retail services, has this year increased the number of apprenticeships – doubling the number of people on these in the Innovation and Technology area of the business. This year, more than 22 people are on apprenticeships as they develop their skills for the future, including working towards degrees.

Andy Hughes, Chief Executive of water retailer Water Plus, said: “Water Plus employees can choose to do one day of volunteering each year – and some are choosing to be involved in careers’ insights and workplace skills for young people in Staffordshire as part of this, while others have supported local charity North Staffs Mind by re-painting counselling rooms this year.”

People in customer service teams at Water Plus also work towards National Qualifications in Customer Service, in a programme accredited by best practice leaders The Institute of Customer Service. Water Plus provides water and wastewater billing and customer service, along with a range of technical water services and information around water efficiency, for organisations of all sizes.

It’s released a new series of podcasts around the importance of organisations looking closer at water use – released on Future Net Zero here – as part of its awareness-raising, engagement and education approach.