Energy & Utility Skills has called for the National Infrastructure Commission to include labour market and workforce resilience with both the scoping and main phases of its consultation on infrastructure resilience.
Chief executive, Nick Ellins (pictured), said: “Simply put, without the quantity and quality of workforce available to deliver and maintain UK infrastructure at an affordable cost, resilience of the infrastructure itself is an arbitrary point. This is particularly true for the critical energy and utility sector, who are the largest single contributor to the National Infrastructure Plan and who also underpin almost every other UK business sector with their supply of environmental infrastructure and essential services.”
Also in its response to the consultation, Energy & Utility Skills commented on the NIC’s terms of reference. It said: “We cannot see how the NIC can coherently evaluate or judge the actions needed to improve the resilience of the UK’s national infrastructure with the existing terms of reference explicitly excluding the security of the supply chain and the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. Both areas are critical to current infrastructure resilience.”
The NIC resilience study, open for comment until 1 April, will examine what actions the government should take to ensure the UK’s infrastructure can cope with future changes, disruptions, shocks and accidents – from everything from increased risk of flooding due to climate change, to ever-increasing dependencies on digital technologies.