British gas is a domestic energy supplier and a part of the Centrica Group which is a multinational company with businesses in many countries, it operates in England as British Gas (BG). Centrica was formed in 1997 and consists of eight separate energy-related businesses. Along with providing gas and electricity, they also install and maintain central heating and gas appliances. Their desire is to provide high quality products and services, their customers also turn to them for expert, hassle free care of their kitchen appliances, home electrics, plumbing and drains.
There are about 12,000 people working in their UK based call centres and over 8,000 highly trained, CORGI (national watchdog for gas safety in the United Kingdom) registered engineers. British gas invests heavily in training to help ensure that the service they offer are always of the highest quality possible they invest over i?? 26 million each year. They are Britain’s largest single employer and trainer of gas engineers.
They claim to be the greenest power provider in Britain and that the electricity provided by them has the lowest CO2 emissions compared to any major UK energy supplier. Even after being in a competitive energy market, and they continue to be the first choice gas suppliers for millions of people, and since the residential electricity market opened to competition in 1988, they have grown to be the largest supplier of electricity to residential customers in Britain.
They maintain high levels of customer service, and this attracts customers. In order to do this they have an academy which has expanded with the demand to recruit more people to meet the customer demand. The academy works with different departments at BG for example, call centres, sales department, also induction and skills training for call centre and operational agents and team leaders.
The academy delivers training at specially built training facilities located across the country, these sites are also used for training new recruits, and for mandatory competency training and five-yearly assessments, as well as supporting continuous professional development programmes. Task 1: Core business of British Gas is to provide care for their customers’ central heating, plumbing, drains, home electrics and kitchen appliances and install domestic appliances and monitor home security systems.
With so many different services being offered by BG workforce planning becomes very important; its main purpose is to evaluate how many employees are needed, the qualifications they need to have achieved and also to recruit people in order to train and recruit the new engineers needed in current and future situations, at BG we cannot have too little or to many people assigned to carry out our day to day business, so we have to be aware of the current demand and the future demand which may arise and have to get ourselves and new staff ready to help our customers.
As the recruiting and training process for new engineers is a lengthy we at BGS have managers in place specially working on a programme which predicts how much UK market for domestic gas engineering services will grow, and this study helps the company decide how many engineers needed in the future. This programme is called the programme of forecasting; we forecast the demand for engineers one year in advance and make more general estimates for a further two years, this enables us to provide the best service to our customers in time and we don’t keep them waiting.
Task 2: Recruitment can be the most important function within British Gas, as that’s where we select people to work towards customer satisfaction, if we are not able to select people with the right level, our companies values are not going to be fulfilled and that’s going to affect our company’s reputation, so it is very important to recruit the right people who share the same principles as the company and who are capable of fulfilling their job. Aspects which make recruitment an important part of BG would be:
Diversity: at BG we see recruiting a diverse engineering workforce as very important, as this ensures that we have a socially inclusive workforce. This is very important as we have a diverse customer base, for example it is helpful having employees from different nationalities and backgrounds who are multi-lingual, this helps communicate with customers that do not speak English as their first language. This scheme has been very popular. Women in engineering:
To dismiss the myth that only men can be good engineers, we at BG run programmes to encourage and attract women into engineering workforce and into plumbing and similar professions. For this The British Gas Academy has even won an award from Women into Science and Engineering. Recruiting women engineers may also help attract female customers. Who is eligible to apply? Candidates applying to do an apprenticeship with BG have to be at least 17 years old, and have a minimum of four GCSE grades at C or above or equivalent (NVQs) and must hold at least a provisional licence.
But the most important thing more than academic qualifications is that the applicant must be able to show some aptitude for customer service, for example being able to listen to the customers and understand their requirements. The application process starts with an online application form, which helps us at BG decide an applicant’s suitability, it includes a value-based questionnaire. This requires responses to a series of statements about attitude towards work.
Applicants are then rated green, amber or red. The colour reflects the attitudes the applicant has about work and people, this helps us show which roles a person is best suited for. BG doesn’t take people with red rating as they don’t fit the company’s requirements. However after an initial screening the rest of the applicants are invited for an interview and are assessed for the final selection process. Here the candidates must show evidence of qualifications, ID and driving licence to secure a place.