Our people are integral to our success and their fulfillment and development is core to our people proposition. 2019 saw us welcome our new colleagues from Green Highland Renewables (GHR) into the group. The GHR team brought complimentary skills to our team of extremely talented and dedicated engineers, project managers, administration and support staff.
We focused throughout the year on maximizing the use of transferable skills across the company. This saw our colleagues in the tidal and hydro businesses come together with the Uskmouth conversion team to drive the planning and permitting process as well as input into the design and engineering of the project. This allowed us to further demonstrate our commitment to the on-going development of our staff, providing new opportunities to share learning and develop new skills.
In this vein we introduced core competencies across the group to support our people with their professional development and to further embed our Company values of Safety, Environment, Tenacity, Innovation and Respect. These competencies also underpin our approach to recruitment where we continue to adopt recruitment best practice, focusing on an inclusive and equitable process.
2019 also saw us maintain momentum on STEM with a focus on improving underrepresented groups’ participation in the sustainable energy and engineering sectors. Our people continued to run high school visits during the year allowing us to be actively involved in the communities in which we operate. We also launched the STEM Ambassadors program which focuses on inspiring the next generation of STEM professionals whilst also offering excellent learning opportunities for our staff.
We want our people to feel motivated to do their best every day. In support of this aim, we launched a new company share option offering in August 2019 ensuring our employees have a vested interest in the performance and growth of the company. We also introduced a number of enhancements to our employee benefits such as a cycle to work scheme and improvements to our pension offering, as well as maintaining our culture of flexible working, in order to ensure we continue to attract and retain the very best.