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Plexus Apprentices Embark On Pioneering Sustainability Skills Programme

Global electronic manufacturing services provider Plexus has teamed up with social enterprise Powering Futures to take five of its apprentices in their Scottish Borders Manufacturing facility through the Powering Futures Challenge Programme – a pioneering workplace skills development scheme focused on sustainability and future business prosperity

The five Kelso-based apprentices will collaborate to find a solution to an energy use-related challenge that has been set by Plexus, and present their solution’s business case to a panel from their senior leadership team – developing their skills in innovation and problem solving, networking and sustainability.

The Plexus Energy Challenge kicked off on Monday 4th March, coinciding with the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week – a nationwide celebration of apprenticeships and work-based learning. 

Plexus has chosen to test and develop the abilities of their young workforce with a complex technical challenge, which when solved will enhance their business. The challenge is to explore ways to optimise air compressors to satisfy the increase in demand for nitrogen at the Kelso site, with company bosses undertaking to implement the creative solutions which Challenge Programme participants come up with at the end of the process. 

Powering Futures was set up in 2020 to empower the young and future workforce with the skills, critical thinking, and enthusiasm to help their organisation transition to net zero. Partnering with businesses to help them solve real-time climate change challenges, Powering Futures tasks teams of 16–25-year-olds with solving a sustainability problem set by their employer, or wider industry, and supports them in coming up with creative solutions through teamwork and climate skills.   

Sustainability is vital to realising the Plexus vision to help create the products that build a better world. As such, over the past two years, we’ve been working diligently on measuring and reducing our Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions, with a specific focus on the purchased electricity consumed by our manufacturing facilities. 


We’re also continually striving to cultivate a learning culture to accelerate the development of our teams. We’re delighted to be partnering with Powering Futures as this challenge aligns perfectly with both of these areas. It will support the development of our apprentices by immersing them in a world of creativity and innovation as well as giving them the opportunity to have a meaningful impact on our decarbonisation efforts.


Gail Traynor, Learning and Development Manager at Plexus



We are thrilled to be working with Plexus to bring this pioneering initiative to their apprentices. As a global leader in engineering and manufacturing, their commitment to finding sustainable solutions to energy challenges and empowering their workforce serves as a positive example of the opportunities available to businesses through the transition to net zero. 


Through the Powering Futures Challenge Programme, we are empowering tomorrow’s business leaders to solve real-time sustainability challenges and work towards future economic prosperity. We believe that economic prosperity and sustainability exist together – and the example set by previous Challenge participants proves that the model works for businesses, the young workforce, and the climate.


Plexus are giving their young workforce the opportunity to shine, whilst solving a technically complex and business focused problem in a more sustainable way and we are excited to be part of their solution. 


Jennifer Tempany, Co-Founder of Powering Futures



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