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New Procurement Skills Accord initiative helps leading UK gas, power and water companies drive investment in training and skills

Sector employers are being encouraged to consider signing up to an initiative that has helped leading UK gas, power and water companies drive investment in training and skills, in areas where the sector needs them most, through procurement.

The deadline for new signatories to join the Procurement Skills Accord for 2018/19 is 31 October 2018.

The Procurement Skills Accord was created in response to the 2015 National Infrastructure Plan for Skills, as a mechanism to incentivise skills investment through procurement and engagement approaches that would provide appropriate incentives to retrain and up-skill the workforce to meet future skills demands.

The energy and utilities sector’s work to meet this challenge through the Procurement Skills Accord was recognised and welcomed by Her Majesty’s Treasury and was one of the core initiatives identified within the Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy.

A total of 38 companies took part in the first year following full roll-out.

This has since grown to 48 that have signed up to meet the Procurement Skills Accord’s five commitments:

  1. Driving investment in skills through procurement
  2. Encouraging supply chain companies to sign up
  3. Using procurement to encourage supply chain companies to develop relevant skills
  4. Continuously improving performance
  5. Monitoring and reporting performance

The Procurement Skills Accord has helped its signatories record encouraging outcomes after the first year, showing that these companies have adapted their procurement process and culture to ensure that they are investing in the skills and training that the sector needs– within the asset owners and their supply chain companies. 

Those outcomes include:
• exceeding the target set to see 5% of the technical/ operational workforce of nearly 39,000 receive eligible training. The reporting shows the Accord is actually supporting more than double this amount (11.5%) to do so.
• 86% of the signatories demonstrated a commitment to continuous improvement through sustainable workforce practices.
• 75% of companies with a relevant supply chain have embedded skills development into their procurement processes
• 74% of eligible companies (28 of 38 that took part in the first year) achieved all of the commitments. Four companies attained over 95% of the available marks.
• 70% of the companies with a relevant supply chain on-boarded at least one new supplier.

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

“The Procurement Skills Accord has demonstrated how procurement-based collaboration between asset owners and their delivery partners can directly increase investment in skills training, and help to build resilience into the sector workforce. Those involved have already seen positive and tangible business outcomes. We are now looking to extend the Accord to even more sector employers and further increase the resilience of the utility world to labour market constraints. Please do get in touch with us to learn more, and be part of this initiative built by the sector, for the sector.”

Initial enquiries on how to sign up to the Procurement Skills Accord can be made via .  For more, visit the Skills Accord page on the Energy & Utility Skills website and the report on its recent awards ceremony.

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