Breagh McMillan is one of the first people to take part in our Changeworks Graduate Scheme. Here, she shares what it’s been like to work with our Affordable Warmth Service – a team on the front-line of the fight against fuel poverty.
What were your reasons for applying to the graduate scheme? What attracted you to Changeworks?
The Graduate Scheme ticked all my boxes – the opportunity to explore and develop transferable skills across various departments was my main motivation for applying, particularly as a recent graduate looking for my first professional experience in the environmental sector.
The sustainability and decarbonisation projects run by Changeworks resonated with various aspects of my Geography degree, such as the Ditching Disposables project in Portobello – I was keen to get involved with similar projects; applying for the Graduate Scheme was a no-brainer!
What roles have you undertaken in your time so far? Tell us about them and the sort of work you’ve been doing as part of the team.
My first rotation in the Affordable Warmth Services Team has been challenging but most importantly, rewarding! Day-to-day as an Energy Admin Advisor, our team provides a range of services to support vulnerable clients. Our role is predominantly customer-facing, taking inbound and outbound calls and offering advice ranging from coping with fuel debt to fuel disconnection.
Throughout the training programme, I have developed my knowledge in Energy Awareness, Mental Health First Aid, Resilience training, Carbon Monoxide safety and many more. All of which has prepared me for advising our clients seeking support.
Supporting the team with day-to-day tasks such as printing and posting, data entry and handling enquiries from our referrers are also a key part of my role.
Right now is an exciting but challenging time in the home energy efficiency space. What have you learnt during the graduate scheme so far on the challenges Scotland faces to meet its net zero targets?
My experience in Affordable Warmth has highlighted how adopting simple household energy-saving measures all add up to make a real impact on Carbon Reduction. Encouraging behaviour change is one of the key steps towards creating more energy-efficient homes.
What other teams and roles are you looking forward to taking on during your time at Changeworks?
Next up for me is the Strategy team, which will be a complete shift from my current customer-facing advisory role. I look forward to gaining insight into how the back-office team deliver key organisational change projects – an area that will be completely new to me.
Would you recommend that graduates apply for next year’s scheme?
Go for it! The Graduate Scheme offers a great learning experience for like-minded passionate people to explore and develop their skills in a range of different teams.