Phil Beach CBE, Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills

The Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership has published "2020: A Year in Focus", a progress report one year after the launch of its Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy 2020-2025.

On the first anniversary of the launch of the Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy 2020-2025, the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership (EUSP) looks back and takes stock of the year the sector has had and the achievements it has made despite the global pandemic.

Crucially, today’s report also looks at what remains to be achieved over the next four years not least in light of the increasing focus on hitting ambitious net zero targets and tackling the climate emergency.

The Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy identifies six strategic priorities for the energy and utilities sector for the period up to 2025.

Over the past year, key figures in the industry have stepped up as workstream leads to drive the activities that fall under each of these strategic objectives.

Today’s report details progress made by EUSP members over the past year under the six overarching strategic aims, including:

1. Build public recognition of the sector

Through Energy & Utilities Jobs, the EUSP has generated 1.6 million ‘opportunities to see’ case studies and sector messages, increasing website traffic over 80%.

2. Deliver the competencies and skills we need

A successful ministerial roundtable with The Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) was held to support the development of skills as part of the transition to Net Zero.

A series of ‘deep dives’ into emerging technologies to support the immediate work to upskill the existing workforce and inform the apprenticeships and qualifications of the future.

Delivery of the hydrogen competency framework commissioned by BEIS.

3. Support a successful UK economy and society outside the EU

Between 1 May 2020 and 30 April 2021, just ten sector employers advertised almost 10,000 job vacancies and continued to train and upskill many more.

Engaged with the Migration Advisory Committee to shape migration laws and processes that could impact the sector’s workforce.

4. Contribute to a sustainable and resilient UK

Technology deep dives, in partnership with the National Skills Academy for Power, to assess three critical elements of the sector where the EUSP anticipates change:

  • Hydrogen

  • Domestic low carbon technologies and electric vehicle charging points

  • Smart networks, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and big data

5. Reflect the population that the sector workforce serves

48 sector employers signed up to the Energy & Utilities Inclusion Commitment

10 Best Practice Webinars watched by over 700 people.

Sector inclusion measurement framework launched with 28 participating employers.

Partnership with the BBC 50:50 Project, Ofgem and Energy UK to improve the diversity of sector spokespeople.

A number of sector employers have committed to the 10,000 Black Interns programme.

6. Inspire the next generation to a career within the energy and utilities sector

EUSP members are operating outreach programmes to schools and colleges.

Actively working with the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) to provide a sector view of the impact the EUSP’s work has.

Phil Beach CBE, Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills, said:

“The launch of the strategy last year coincided with the coronavirus pandemic and the sector should be proud of the progress we’ve made in the first year. We’ve made a strong start and today’s report clearly shows that we are moving in the right direction. Energy and utilities companies are at the forefront of delivering the UK Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, and we’re all committed to achieve net zero carbon targets in 2050, as well as tackling the range of issues presented by the climate emergency. There is clearly more to do, and we are determined to attract, recruit, and develop a diverse workforce to fill the existing and emerging jobs.”

Michael Lewis, E.ON UK Chief Executive and Chair of the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, said:

“As a sector we have made good progress. There is much to be proud of over this past year, including 33 of the major employers stating their commitment to maintaining their apprenticeship programmes in the midst of the pandemic. We continue to be dedicated to improvement and focussed on making the energy and utilities sector a great place to work, with rewarding careers and a workforce which reflects the society and communities that we serve.”

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