Page 2: Workforce planning and identifying training needs
Workforce planning involves making sure that the organisation has the right skills to meet its current and future needs. For example, this might include identifying how many highly qualified engineers National Grid needs in the period 2007-2010. It is then possible to identify whether the company needs to recruit additional specialist engineers from outside the organisation or train those already employed.
National Grid recognises that about 40% of its current workforce will reach retirement age over the next 10-15 years. Combined with the trend over the last decade of fewer students studying engineering at university, this is likely to result in a skills shortage. To combat this, National Grid is actively involved in a number of educational initiatives aimed at students beginning from age nine. These initiatives seek to help increase the number and diversity of young people interested in engineering careers. This ultimately creates a greater pool of skilled talent from which National Grid can recruit.
Two such educational initiatives in which National Grid participates are the Engineering Education Scheme (EES) and Headstart. EES involves the company's graduate trainees working with sixth form students. The focus is on providing real-world engineering projects for them to work on. Headstart/link is a programme run at the end of year 12 for students to learn more about engineering. It is a four-day course held at 24 universities and involves hands-on experiences. There are also courses run specifically for young females interested in the field of engineering.
Work placement programmes
National Grid has also invested in work placement programmes for university students. These experiences help the students learn more about National Grid as both a business and an employer. It also enables students to bring to life the theory from their coursework.
Additionally, the company runs programmes for foundation engineers, graduates and apprentices. All of these schemes provide important training and development needed to build and sustain National Grid's workforce. Training is the process of equipping people with skills that meet the needs of an organisation. Development focuses on identifying and meeting the work-related needs of employees.
Training and development
National Grid is committed to both training and development. There are two main forms of training and development: