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Home » Graduate Careers » Why careers in the energy industry are enriching and rewarding

Carolanne Henry

Director of Customer Experience and Operations, SSE Airtricity

The energy industry is powering a cleaner, greener and more progressive future. It’s also providing dynamic career opportunities for people with the right skills.

This is an exhilarating time to be working in Irish energy, an evolving sector recruiting a variety of skilled personnel across a wide range of roles. It’s an industry that doesn’t stand still, explains Carolanne Henry, Director of Customer Experience and Operations at SSE Airtricity

Energy jobs in Ireland 

“We work with talented colleagues across a wide variety of roles and, like many industries, we’ve had to adapt to multiple shifts in consumer behaviour, product innovation and application of technology,” says Henry.  

“We need energy advisors. These are people who really understand the energy consumption challenges our customers face and can offer them meaningful advice — in an empathetic way — about reducing their bills. Plus, there are roles in artificial intelligence (AI), which we’ve been investing in. AI will help us become more efficient as a company; and, by feeding energy consumption information to households in real time, can help customers become more efficient, too.”  

Joining value-oriented organisations 

SSE Airtricity is dedicated to powering a cleaner, greener environment and has early career opportunities for graduates, interns, trainees and apprentices. “I think many candidates are attracted to being part of an organisation that aligns with their purpose and values,” says Henry. “Yes, they want a good career with a good salary; but they also appreciate initiatives such as SSE’s Net Zero Acceleration Programme — which is focused on building a net zero future for all with significant investment in low carbon infrastructure — and know that, by joining us, they can have a positive impact on society.” 

Ireland’s climate action targets are extremely ambitious because the Government is aiming to retrofit 500,000 homes before 2030. Yet, this is also where a vast number of job opportunities lie. Many people in traditional trades — such as plumbers, electricians and heating engineers — have seen which way the wind is blowing and are jumping on board the sustainable energy train.  

The opportunities are so numerous that their
careers can take off in surprising new directions.

Training and upskilling open new career opportunities 

By cross-skilling or upskilling, people will be able to carve out dynamic, new clean energy roles for themselves. The opportunities are so numerous that their careers can take off in surprising new directions. “We offer training and upskilling through our Energy Academy,” says Henry. “This offers colleagues the chance to become certified in a particular skillset or add to their skillset, so they can move within the organisation to another role. For instance, many colleagues in customer services have upskilled as project managers and are now working in energy services, advising customers on the best options for home retrofitting.”  

Recognising employee needs and diversity  

The energy industry is progressive by nature. It recognises that today’s employees are expecting hybrid working, enhanced family leave, initiatives and partnerships that support local communities, as well as a diverse and inclusive workplace. “Diversity and inclusion are critical for any organisation,” insists Henry. “Companies have to be able to reflect the diversity of their customers if they are to serve them in the best possible way.” 

Henry has straightforward advice for anyone considering a career in energy. “Look at the purpose and the values of the organisation you’re interested in to see what it’s doing to deliver on its strategy,” she says. “That will help you decide if it’s right for you. But certainly, this is an industry that can offer the right people long, diverse and rewarding careers. It’s exciting to be part of it.” 

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