Southern Water appoints Matchtech to recruit talent for the expansion of new engineering division
Southern Water is committed to developing a centre for water engineering excellence within the business as it moves into the AMP6 framework, the national programme to improve the efficiency and quality of water and waste water services in the UK.
Matchtech’s appointment will play a key role in helping Southern Water identify the talent it needs for the initial design phase of AMP6 in April.
Southern Water is seeking engineers with expertise in water disciplines including civil, mechanical, electrical and process engineering across both design and construction.Matchtech will provide Southern Water with candidates from all experience levels as part of a six year contract to support the growth of a new engineering capability, including an engineering division headed by Chief Engineer, Ian Kirkaldy. The division is currently around 40 strong, and Southern Water plans to at least double its size in the next year.
By establishing an in-house engineering talent pool, Southern Water will be able to manage and improve its assets year–after-year, without overreliance on outsourced services. This will ensure efficient, long-term asset management and ultimately, improve customer satisfaction.
In its latest Confidence Index, Matchtech revealed that over a fifth of UK engineers would consider moving to the water sector. Amidst a national skills shortage across the engineering industry, Matchtech believes that it is important to utilise the skills of engineers from different industry sectors. For example, many oil and gas engineers work with similar engineering principles to the water industry, so are equipped with the skills to transfer to the sector.
Stuart Minchin, head of water & environment, matchtech, said, “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Southern Water, especially at such an exciting time for both the industry and Southern itself, which is bringing engineering expertise back in house. With our specialist engineering knowledge we believe we can source the best candidates for the job in hand, building a team that can deliver its business plans during the critical AMP6 period.
“Although it is key to capture the quality of people already experienced in the industry, we will also look to engage with engineers from various industry sectors who have skills applicable to the water and wastewater sector and can be successfully transferred. Of course in a candidate-short market, it is vital to have an open-minded and innovative approach to recruitment. With Southern Water’s ambition to become a leading engineering employer in the region, the job opportunities available will be very attractive to engineers with an interest in the water sector.”
Ian Kirkaldy, chief engineer, Southern Water, said, “I have worked in the engineering industry for nearly 40 years, and am extremely proud to be part of a newly established team at Southern Water that I’m sure will succeed in becoming a leading hub of water engineering. I’m looking forward to working with Matchtech to recruit talented individuals who will form a vital part of the founding team. This is a rare opportunity to join a new division with great ambition and a commitment to high class engineering that will make a real difference to communities and the local environment.
“Our plan for the next five years will see us deliver better water and wastewater services to 4.5 million people across Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight at an average daily cost per household of just over £1.”
Southern Water provides water and wastewater services to more than 4.5 million customers across Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and currently employs more than 2,000 staff. The company will spend around £3 billion enhancing and maintaining its water and wastewater services in the coming five years, which is equivalent to £1,500 for every household and business in its area.