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The power academy in the UK: a successful initiative to attract graduates to the power industry

Bell, K.R.W. (2009) The power academy in the UK: a successful initiative to attract graduates to the power industry. In: Power & Energy Society General Meeting, 2009. PES '09. IEEE. IEEE. ISBN 978-1-4244-4241-6

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    The power industry in the UK faces major challenges over the next two decades to renew ageing networks and accommodate new generation, especially renewables. As a consequence, the industry needs to recruit a new generation of well-qualified electrical engineering graduates. This paper describes the IET Power Academy, established in 2004 to attract engineering graduates into employment within the power industry. In 2008, 17 companies and 7 leading UK universities are collaborating in the scheme with over 60 scholarships being offered each year. The scholarship package includes a bursary, a contribution to university fees, paid vacation training and an annual seminar. The scheme can be judged to have been a success to date, though challenges still remain, including persuading greater numbers of school and college leavers to study electrical or electronic engineering at university. As time goes on, while the industry can expect to have largely addressed issues associated with graduate recruitment, mid-career support and retention is likely to emerge as a key concern.