Energy & Utility Skills has today launched a collaborative partnership with Youth Employment UK to encourage more young people into the energy and utility sector, helping it become more youth-friendly.

Recent evidence points to the increasing ‘youth-gap’, with nearly a fifth (19%) of the sector’s workforce aged 55 or older and only 8% under 24, compared to the 12% national average.  Building on its long-term ‘Inclusion Commitment*’, Energy & Utility Skills will collaborate with Youth Employment UK, employer members, and strategic partners to inspire more young people into critical industries.

As a leading youth organisation, Youth Employment UK will work closely with Energy & Utility Skills to realise its ‘Inclusion Commitment’. This includes the support of Talent Source Network - the online platform that connects young and diverse talent with career and training opportunities in 25 leading utility and energy employers. Through the meaningful partnership, both organisations will use their expertise to support, promote and guide young people to roles or training provision in the sector or to get ‘work-ready’ by developing additional skills through the ‘Young Professional’ programme.

Energy & Utility Skills has also recently become a chartered ‘Youth Friendly Employer’. By signing up to Youth Employment UK’s Charter, Energy & Utility Skills has committed itself to raising the visibility of opportunities within the sector and providing quality opportunities to young talent directly. Cadent, who owns the UK’s largest gas distribution network, and utility service provider, Morrison Utility Services, are leading the way as early adopters in supporting the partnership and the Charter by providing expert support to young people.

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Kate Davies, Chief Operating Officer, Energy & Utility Skills said:

“Over the next ten years, our sector will require over 221,000 skilled and professional workers to ensure we have the people we need in our growing sector. Attracting more young talent into our profession is key to driving innovation and future-proofing our workforce. By partnering with Youth Employment UK, we can ensure that we are building an industry that is attractive to and representative of young people.  This will support our inclusive culture and deliver diverse and vibrant teams.”

“We’re delighted that we’re able to build upon the momentum of our recent ‘Inclusion Commitment’ and look forward to working with our members and Youth Employment UK to develop this work further”.

Laura-Jane Rawlings, Chief Executive, Youth Employment UK, said:

“We are thrilled to be working with Energy & Utility skills to support them and their members to become youth friendly employers. We understand the challenges that many sectors are facing, and by working together with Energy & Utility Skills we will be able to provide additional support to their ‘inclusion commitment’ and link our key services - so that more young people can be inspired to engage with careers in the sector.

We know that many employers in the Energy and Utility Sector are committed to good quality youth employment and it will be great to recognise and support them as youth friendly employers and connect them with the more than 65,000 young people using our skills and careers resources each month.”

Chris Mead, HR Director, Cadent, said:

“We are delighted to be an early adopter in the Youth Employment partnership, this aligns to our workforce strategy and our drive to encourage and inspire a more diverse workforce. Cadent is working hard to encourage under 24s into our business, offering internships, apprenticeships and many more opportunities. Being youth friendly is key to supporting them develop their potential and get them work ready, whilst at Cadent.

Colin Jellicoe, HR Director, Morrison Utility Services, commented: 

“We work hard to provide excellent career paths for young people in our business.  We also make time to go out into the community to explain the sheer variety of opportunities on offer; our schools workshops and work experience placements offer the chance to see where young people can realise their full potential and enjoy a fulfilling, life-long career in the utilities sector.  As a youth friendly employer our work will continue alongside strong allies in Youth Employment UK, Energy & Utility Skills and Cadent Gas.”

To mark the start of the partnership, Energy & Utility Skills and Youth Employment UK will be attending April’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Employment which will be attended by Anne Milton, Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships, and Cadent and Morrison Utility Services, as part of the inquiry into the role employers play in youth employment. Energy & Utility Skills, Cadent and Morrison Utility Services will be presented with the Youth Friendly Employer Certificate.

About Energy & Utility Skills: A membership organisation that brings together industry leaders to identify and address workforce resilience challenges within the sector. It provides membership, assurance and skills solutions to help employers attract, develop and retain a sustainable, skilled workforce to ensure the seamless delivery of essential services to 65 million people each day and UK Industry. Its UK-wide membership is comprised of the major infrastructure companies within water, power, gas and waste management and their top tiers of delivery partners.

The Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership is a collective of 28 leading sector employers who are working together to “ensure that a safe, skilled and sustainable workforce provides the essential services that our customers seek and meets the UK’s needs from the energy and utilities infrastructure.”

The Skills Partnership launched the sectors Inclusion Commitment in February 2019,  and has committed to ensuring the Energy and Utilities sector workforce is  an inclusive and diverse one:

  • Being inclusive enables our sector to attract and retain the diverse talent that is crucial to ensuring a resilient workforce.
  • Being inclusive will help us to be more innovative and achieve greater productivity by adapting to our changing environment.
  • Having a diverse workforce ensures we are reflective and inclusive of the customers and communities we serve.

To meet our inclusion commitment, we will:

  1. Work collaboratively as a sector to drive change, challenging ourselves to do things differently, by sharing best practice and delivering sector priorities
  2. Focus on inclusion in its entirety, however our sector history requires targeted sector action to start by increasing gender, BAME and disability workforce representation.
  3. Measure and be transparent about progress in our individual organisations and as a sector.
  4. Ensure we create the culture we need to attract the workforce of tomorrow.
  5. Be inclusive in the way we attract, recruit and develop our people.

About Youth Employment UK: A not-for-profit that was set up in 2012 to tackle youth unemployment. Understanding the complex landscape and needs of both young people and employers, Youth Employment UK has become a leading expert on youth employment and unemployment in the UK.

Young people need a voice in the decisions being made which impact them, while developing their personal and work skills. Youth Employment UK not only puts young people at the heart of what we do, we have also lead the way to bringing young people’s voices and experience to the forefront of policy and service design.

Youth Employment UK provides support and guidance to a range of government departments, employers, youth organisations and works in collaboration with a number of key partners.

The Youth Friendly Employer Community provides support and recognition to employers who are committed to good quality youth employment practice. Community Members are able to access expert help and support, strategic guidance and practical resources to support their youth employment work. Organisations must apply for membership and commit to best practice standards and awarded with the Youth Friendly Employer logo and Certificate.

About Cadent: The UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy.  It operates, maintains and innovates the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency.   Its skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities it serves, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh borders to East Anglia, to keep energy flowing. 

About Morrison Utility Services: The UK’s largest, dedicated, independent utility service provider, working in long-term frameworks on behalf of regulated asset owners across the electricity, gas, telecommunications and water sectors. Morrison Utility Services is a part of M Group Services. 

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