Michael Pullan, Senior Communications Manager

07557 619446


The Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Bridget Philipson MP visited British Gas’s Dartford Academy to meet with our smart energy apprentices and celebrate International Women’s Day this week.

The minister joined Centrica’s Chief People Officer Jill Shedden and Jana Siber, Managing Director British Gas Services & Solutions, to discuss Centrica’s work to improve colleague experience, particularly that of engineers and encouraging more women into engineering.

As part of British Gas’ ambition for 50% of its apprentices to be female to build an inclusive workforce, the business has recruited over 600 apprentices in the past year, with one third of those women.

The business has also introduced a number of new guidelines and policies to ensure it is supporting women throughout their careers. In the past year it has launched several new initiatives to support both customers and colleagues, including a domestic abuse policy, flexible working arrangements and menopause guidelines.

The majority of the new apprentices will train as smart engineers, paving the way for future training to upskill in low carbon home solutions such as EV charging or heat pump installation.

"It’s important that we build skills and capabilities now that are needed for the future, and that means having a diverse workforce who can help us to deliver energy solutions that are sustainable and affordable. As one of the largest employers of engineers in the UK, we have a responsibility to encourage more females into STEM careers. It’s encouraging to know that we have made great progress this year. This paves the way for creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce, that is necessary to help us reach net zero and also to develop a talent pool for our future leaders."

Jill Shedden, Chief People Officer, Centrica

"It was brilliant to meet apprentices at British Gas and see the important work happening to train up our next generation of engineers who will lead the UK’s transition towards net zero. It is essential that we expand young people’s horizons and ensure that women see tech and engineering roles as careers for them. Labour will ensure every young person leaves education ready for work and ready for life with careers advice and work experience in every school helping to set young people on the path to success."

Bridget Philipson MP, The Shadow Secretary of State for Education

"I used to work as a Detention Officer and I loved the challenge and diversity that the role brought, however when I became a Mum I wanted to find a new career without shift work. When it came to looking for a full-time job I struggled to find something to get excited about. The apprenticeship offered by British Gas is amazing as it means that I can earn a qualification in STEM while being paid. It’s a real juggle at times, but knowing that British Gas provides the flexibility I need and allows me to provide for my family makes me proud. I hope my son will grow up to see me as a woman that is confident in doing a role previously perceived to be represented by men."

Chelsea Living, Smart Energy Apprentice, British Gas

To help boost interest from female applicants, British Gas is running a targeted recruitment campaign that includes virtual careers events and engaging with women seeking a career change due to Covid. It has also signed up to the Tech She Can Charter, a commitment by organisations to increase women working in technology roles.