Borders energy firm unveils plans to create 160 extra jobs

Spark Energy boss Chris Gauld with Nicola Sturgeon at the opening of its training academy in November last year.
Spark Energy boss Chris Gauld with Nicola Sturgeon at the opening of its training academy in November last year.

Selkirk firm Spark Energy is to increase its workforce by more than a third next year, taking its payroll to almost 580.

That recruitment drive for 160 new staff to join the 416 already employed by the Dunsdale Road-based company comes just over a year after it unveiled plans to take on another 60-plus staff to add to its headcount of just under 350 at that time.

The niche energy supplier for home-movers’ new recruits will be based in both customer service and back-office departments including IT, finance, legal and compliance, human resources and training, mostly at its Selkirk headquarters.

The firm’s latest search for new blood comes 13 months after Scottish Government First Minister Nicola Sturgeon officially opened its on-site academy to underpin its expansion plans, and since then it has trained almost 200 members of its staff.

Spark’s director of people and culture, John Hawkins, said: “This is a fantastic milestone for the Spark Academy, and the volume of training delivered is testament to its benefits for not only Spark and its customers but the entire Borders region.

“Most of Spark’s staff live within 10 miles of Selkirk, making an invaluable contribution to the jobs market in the local area, but we’re growing quickly and now also have teams in Edinburgh and Horsham in West Sussex, so we’re always on the lookout for new talent to help the business provide a great experience for our customers.

“The Spark Academy is a vital part of this process. It’s the incubator where each new recruit spends time to learn about us, our customers and culture and, of course, about their role.

“The current team also benefit from courses designed to develop their skills and careers.”

To find out more about upcoming vacancies at the firm, already one of the biggest private-sector employers in the Borders, visit sparkenergy.co.uk/careers

Spark, founded in Edinburgh in 2007 but based in Selkirk since the year after, is the only multi-utility provider in Britain catering primarily for the lettings sector, working with agents, social landlords and home-owners, to provide energy, broadband and entertainment services for 400,000-plus customers.

In May this year, the company, founded by Canadian entrepreneur PJ Darling but now led by chief executive officer Chris Gauld, took over Horsham-based Home Telecom, adding fixed-line telephone, high-speed broadband and Sky TV packages to its catalogue of services.