Collective power of the energy & utilities industry drives action and leadership in ever-changing policy landscape

Collaboration has been the key to successfully driving workforce resilience and excellence in skills across the sector during the last year - was the conclusion of the Energy & Utility Skills Annual Review.

During the last year, the sector has endured fast moving change and the challenge of Brexit. Through this period, Energy & Utility Skills has consistently delivered for its membership, the industry and its partners through collaboration on targeted projects and initiatives which delivered tangible results, policy change and increased awareness of the vital role that human capital plays in delivering key strategic aims in an ever tightening labour market. Through trusted partnerships, Energy & Utility Skills is delivering workforce resilience. 

Partnership in action saw the launch of the sector’s first diversity commitment with 32 leading companies pledging to ensure a more inclusive and representative workforce. The initiative was delivered by the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership which also prompted the ‘Procurement Skills Accord’ driving collective investment in supply chain sustainability. 

During the past year, the Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service delivered over 900 high quality apprentices across 10 standards and is now responsible for 1 in 4 of all apprentices graduating in England today. 

Nick Ellins, Chief Executive, Energy & Utility Skills said:

“The year has shown the tangible business value that comes when the sector work together on issues of such strategic importance as workforce resilience. The utility companies, their policy makers, regulators, unions, supply chain, investors and sector professional bodies have made positive change happen and led the UK economy in delivering policy reform. Energy & Utility Skills committed to make excellence the standard across our work, and Ipsos Mori research helped guide us as to exactly where we could have the most impact and add most value.

"Receiving strong feedback on our performance from the members and primary stakeholders, plus receiving our Investors in People gold award and being voted Utility Partner of the Year at the Utility Week Awards were welcome indicators that we are on track. My Board, my team and I will have no moments of complacency, and we are already structuring the business to further meet our commitment to excellence, and to help the vital utility sector outperform through myriad changes and new opportunities.” 

Energy & Utility Skills have also been working closely with the water, waste and recycling sectors. Working hard to increase competence, Energy & Utility Skills has invested in the ongoing safety of the public water supply and continues to provide and manage a number of key industry schemes, including the launch in March of the improved and enhanced National Water Hygiene Scheme, also known as the ‘Blue Card’. 

A new ‘Waste & Recycling Human Resources Forum’ was set-up last year to replace the previous initiative and work closely with industry to propose a sector deal and support the UK Resources Council with their efforts.

The Forum also developed the Level 2 Waste & Resources Apprenticeship standard and successfully challenged the IfA to increase its apprentice funding from £2,500 to £6,000 per apprentice. 

Nick commented: “The synergies between the UK water industry and waste management sectors are increasingly evident, and in both industries the companies have a desire and intent to be ever safer, with a continual challenge to build competence, behaviours and culture. What they do for society is also pivotal, and Energy & Utility Skills worked across the UK to ensure we gave our very best in labour market, workforce renewal and skills support.” 

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