Sunderland College has helped an award-winning North East business energy consultancy reach a significant milestone.
Washington-based Tritility, which empowers businesses to take control of their utilities through online tools and expert consultancy, has grown significantly since its launch in 2019, opening a second office in Jarrow this year and recently hiring its 100th employee.
Originally starting as a team of four, the company continued to recruit throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, safely recruiting full-time employees and apprentices with support from the Sunderland College’s Business Development team.
Melissa Coulson, Tritility’s Recruitment Manager, says: “We were founded on the principle that people come first. Since then, despite rapid growth and much change, we have remained true to our values.
“We currently have four apprentices placed with us and we are working closely with Sunderland College to equip each of them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, nurturing their talents and providing extra support where they need it.
“We also have two open vacancies which we’re working with the College to fill.”
Working across the organisation, from HR and Finance to IT and administration, apprentices are fully supported through an ongoing collaboration between Tritility and Sunderland College to make their journey into employment a success.
“Sunderland College helped me with my CV, and spent time talking through the kind of job positions I was looking for,” says Ellen Froud. “The job with Tritility sounded exciting; I liked the idea of working for a new and growing business, and the role sounded like a great challenge. At my interview I felt so at ease and we had a good chat. So, I was delighted when I got a job offer the same day.”
Ellen’s apprenticeship has progressed to a permanent role, and she is hoping to take part in Tritility’s LEAD Programme, which combines classroom learning with on-the-job training to give talented employees a steppingstone to a career in management.
She adds: “Since starting here, I have already progressed into a sales support role. Tritility is a company that provides lots of opportunities for career development.
“The next step for me is to take more of a Team Leader role, and I know I will have full support from both Tritility and Sunderland College.”
Located in areas hid hard by youth unemployment, Tritility – a living wage employer – is proud to promote social mobility in the community, an approach which saw the company win a TELCA Diversity Pioneers Award in December 2020.
The opening of the Jarrow site will enable the company to create an additional 70 living wage jobs over the course of 2021, as well as freeing up space at its Washington headquarters for the Kickstart Training Academy for trainee Energy Consultants.
Tritility’s involvement in the Government-backed scheme, accessed through a gateway provided by Sunderland College, stems from its founders’ passion for helping people develop their careers, regardless of experience or background, with applicants needing only a positive attitude and a willingness to learn.
In the Academy, young people aged 18-24 will undergo several months of training which will cover general employability skills as well as industry-specific topics. On successful completion, the trainees will ‘graduate’ into fully-fledged Energy Consultants, gaining a permanent position within the business.
Moving the Customer Service Team into the new office was a huge task, with IT apprentice Jack playing a crucial role in setting up workstations and connecting network cables without any disruption to the working day.
Joining Tritilty earlier this year, Jack has always had his sights set on a career in IT since his dad encouraged him to dismantle a computer at the age of six, which did not go to too well. When he turned 13 and had to choose his GCSE subjects, IT was top of his list.
He says: “I loved my studies, but it was all a bit theoretical. I gained a BTEC in Engineering, but I really wanted practical experience. An apprenticeship has provided me with the opportunity to learn in a real-world setting.”
Sunderland College supported Jack through the application process, and subsequently found him a placement with a local company. However, three months down the line, the pandemic halted his progress, but he quickly found another placement with Tritility.
He added: “I was nervous about my role at first, as it would not only be a learning curve, but would also require a lot of social interaction in a professional setting. Everyone has been really nice, accepting and friendly, and people always take the time to stop and say hello.”
Despite the increase in staff, Tritility has worked hard to maintain its unique culture, offering its workforce opportunities to broaden their skills with access to college courses and personal development plans tailored to their individual career goals.
In May, Tritility was announced as the ninth best mid-sized employer in the UK by ‘Best Companies’ to add to their accolades, which includes being ranked as the 5th best employer in the North East, one of the top 100 medium-sized companies to work for in the UK, and the 3rd best consultancy to work for in the UK.
Melissa adds: “It’s not just our apprentices who benefit from our relationship with Sunderland College. We’ve invested a great deal in employee health and wellbeing initiatives, as well as training and development programmes to help employees progress their careers.
“Existing staff can also access a range of distance learning courses, free of charge, delivered by the College. This covers a range of vocational topics to help people advance their careers.
“We are strongly committed to boosting the long-term career prospects of both current and potential employees, and our relationship with Sunderland College has added significant value in this area.”
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