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Friday, February 10, 2017

IGEM welcomes the launch of the Skills Strategy

The first ever Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy for the energy & utilities sector has been published by the Energy and Skills Council.

Our sector touches the lives of over 65 million customers and citizens in the UK each and every day, providing the essential services that enable nations, regions and communities to go about their business. In addition to that 24-hour-a-day service commitment, the electricity, gas, water, wastewater, and waste management industries also form the largest single contributor towards the infrastructure ambitions of all four UK Governments.

Over half of the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan (56%) is attributed solely to our sector, and without the products of those investments - power, light, fresh drinking water, safe sanitation, waste removal, environmental protection and recycling - the remainder of that plan is simply unable to be delivered.

We are proud of the pivotal role we all play for customers and society and recognise our place in building the future prosperity for the UK.  To deliver our responsibilities safely and effectively at a sustainable cost, takes an exceptionally skilled and substantial workforce, the sustainability of which is under pressure.

We face an ageing workforce, intense competition for many of our core skills, growing complexity within roles, a rapidly changing technology environment, a need for more diversity of skills and the people who perform them, rising labour costs, and ongoing difficulties in attracting sufficient new and young people.

The full picture will become evident as you progress further through the skills strategy but, in summary, 20% of this sector's workforce will retire within ten years, requiring around 221,000 new recruits to be secured during the same period.

As such an important enabler of the economy and society, we recognise there is a need for collective action, and we must all face up to this strategic workforce renewal and skills challenge.

IGEM CEO, Sarb Bajwa welcomed the report and said "The gas industry provides essential services to the customer and industry and is critical to UK plc. Currently the industry is embracing its role in developing a low carbon future for the UK. This will require developing new set of skills to ensure that everyone working in the gas industry has access to the best possible training and once qualified is competent to carry out their job. I welcome the launch of the Skills Strategy which comes at a critical time for the gas industry and as a strategic partner of EUSG I look forward to working with all stakeholders on its successful implementation."

The Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership has decided to take action, to become the catalyst for change. This inaugural Energy and Utilities Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy sets out for the first time, in one place, the reality of the challenges faced and the ambitions we all share in moving towards achieving a more sustainable future.

Download a copy of the Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy