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In this installment of the SAAB Spotlight On series,
we hear from Frank Mitchell, CEO for SP Energy Networks and co-chair of the SAAB Group Board.     

What does the company do?

SP Energy Networks is a business with responsibility for getting the electricity from power generators to all 3.5 million customers in Central and South Scotland, Merseyside and North Wales. It is part of the ScottishPower Group of companies.

A key focus is supporting the communities we serve, beyond that of a traditional utility, which has also been recognised via a number of national awards for the business.

SP Energy Networks employs around 3,000 people directly and another 3,000 through partners and is currently directly recruiting around 150 graduates and apprentices every year.

How long have you worked at SP Energy Networks or Scottish Power?

30 years.

In the last 10 years we have recruited just under a 1,000 people into our business via apprenticeships. In doing so, I have observed first-hand, the high quality and great attitude of our younger generations. This is what I am most proud of.

Frank Mitchell, CEO for SP Energy Networks and co-chair of the SAAB Group Board

What’s a typical day for you?

In my role there is no typical day, but I always try and achieve three key objectives every day:

1. Listen to what our customers are telling us.
2. Ensure I drive my own agenda and not be a slave to emails.
3. Engage with staff and management on their challenges.

What is your organisation’s ambition for the apprenticeship family in Scotland?

We have many ways to recruit apprentices: direct from school; via the Power Academy or via transition training from other skills. I want to ensure we share our lessons learned from this overarching approach and learn from other organisations.

Why do you think the work of the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board is important?

To ensure sharing of best practice and integrate closer alignment between those who prepare young people for work and those who are looking to recruit them. All of this should ultimately shape policy in this area for the Scottish Government.

What is your biggest business achievement to date?

In the last 10 years we have recruited just under a 1,000 people into our business via apprenticeships. In doing so, I have observed first-hand, the high quality and great attitude of our younger generations. This is what I am most proud of.

Which businessperson or company do you most admire and why?

Bill Gates – to form a global company from a garage, become the wealthiest person in the world and then work hard to give it all away to worthy causes speaks volumes. I have been fortunate to meet Mr Gates and his humility and authenticity shone through.

What’s on your desk?

Telephone, computer, diary, paperwork and photo of my three daughters.

Pret, Starbucks, or a healthy looking smoothie?

Cold day – Starbucks
Warm day – smoothie (not always the healthy type!)

What did you want to be as a child?

Join the Navy!

What three words sum you up?

Grounded, resilient and simplifier