Water and other utilities need 221,000 new recruits by 2027 to continue to provide their services and the infrastructure the UK needs according to recruitment firm, Energy & Utilities Skills.
In a partnership that includes energy and water companies, network operators and contractors, Energy & Utilities Skills has launched a Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy for the sector “to take the first steps towards ensuring that the UK’s vital energy and utilities sector retains a safe, skilled, resilient and sustainable workforce.”
The strategy lays out “the reality of the challenges faced, immediate initiatives that are underway and the ambitions the partnership shares in moving towards achieving a more sustainable future,” said Energy & Utilities Skills.
Chief executive of Energy & Utility Skills, Nick Ellins, pointed out that more than half of the “The National Infrastructure Plan is required to be delivered by the power, water, gas, wastewater and waste management industries. “To date the accompanying infrastructure skills strategy has not explicitly recognised this critical contribution or done enough to ensure that the businesses involved have the right environment to ensure a sustainable and talented workforce exists,” Ellins said.
Chief executive of E.ON UK and Chair of the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, Tony Cocker, said: “We face an ageing workforce, increasing competition for talent with unemployment reaching its lowest recorded levels and a lack of proficient skills leading to over a third of vacancies being hard-to-fill.”
He called on utilities to “encourage and support more people, whatever their background, into training and long-term career opportunities in the energy and utilities industry.”
20 utility businesses in the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership have committed to a new 12-month pilot programme that seeks to encourage people into utility careers and “develop a significant future sector talent pool.“ Their Talent Source Network aims to help employers find “hard-to-reach and diverse individuals.”