A collaboration of 30 industry players has announced a new strategy to help attract people to 227,000 jobs in the utilities sector.
The Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership (EUSP) has published its second Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy covering 2020-25. It aims to help the industry attract diverse talent to help with its transition to net zero.
Sector attractiveness, recruitment and diversity, along with maximising investment in skills and targeted action for predicted skills gaps, have been identified as the key areas of focus for the consortium.
Nick Ellins, CEO of Energy & Utility Skills, said that the strategy will provide a framework for everyone in the utilities sector, to “secure successful UK wide skills provision".
“By working together through this voluntary alliance, the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership have led the way and they now call on the whole industry to help in tackling the issues set out, and to work with central and devolved governments, regulators and key interest groups to continue building these initiatives and meet the skills challenge.
“By working together, we can ensure a highly skilled, safe and productive workforce that ultimately invests directly back into society and our communities.”
The group highlighted that 27% of the workforce is likely to retire in the next decade, with the baby boomer generation now all over the age of 55. This is a large contributor to the sector's need to recruit or retrain 48% - or 227,000 - of the current workforce by 2030.
Michael Lewis, chief executive and chair of the partnership at E.ON UK, said: “This new strategy seeks to ensure workforce resilience by calling on all the policy makers, regulators, unions, utilities, supply chain partners and major interest groups to unite. As much as the workforce and skills challenge has increased for our sector, our very purpose has become pin sharp since events such as the environmental emergency and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Together, we have a once in a generation opportunity to work together and show that choosing to take on a career in our industries is about choosing to support our communities and our planet in finding sustainable energy, waste and water solutions; it is about being in the vanguard of tackling the environmental crisis; it is about meeting those vital zero carbon targets and it is about underpinning the UK economy and people with infrastructure and essential services as critical workers.”