As one of North America's largest energy and services providers, Direct Energy is helping plug the shortage of skilled workers in North America’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumping and electrical services. Direct Energy is doing this by teaming up with local technical colleges, to provide the latest industry training and employment for sponsored students. This is helping kick-start the careers of young people across North America while growing the skill base needed to satisfy the changing needs of our customers.
Following a successful pilot in 2015 with the Suncoast Technical College in Florida, we have now seen our second sponsored class graduate and have expanded the programme to work with other technical colleges. And as we continue to grow the programme, we hope to have sponsored 100 students throughout North America by the end of 2016.
Students studying at the colleges can apply for Direct Energy’s sponsorship. Successful candidates receive additional training that supports their classroom learning at college, including being provided with mentoring alongside face-to-face technical and online training that enhances their skills and gets them ready for employment with us. They also receive a uniform and when they graduate, are provided with tools and reimbursed for their tuition fees.
Will Sivils, a 23-year old student who graduated from the programme said: "The trades are in high demand and people will always need help with their air conditioning and heating. I didn't want a job that was going to be obsolete in a few years and this was a great opportunity.”
Another student, 20-year-old Jessica Johnes is a single mother and added: "I like the hands on learning. This is training me for an interesting job where I can make good money and have a career."