Major energy and utilities employers reveal new working groups for cross-sector strategy goals

A progress report two years into the sector’s Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy 2020-2025, celebrates successes and announces a focused approach to driving change.

A report published today details the successes achieved by the 30 employer organisations that form the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership (EUSP) chaired by Michael Lewis, Chief Executive of E.ON.

These successes include the greater representation of disabilities across the sector, repurposing the Smart Metering Network as the Net Zero Technology Skills Group, and leading the drive for a “Green Collar” approach to green jobs.

On the second anniversary of the launch of the Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy 2020-2025, the EUSP is announcing a new approach to delivering its strategic skills priorities for the sector with the streamlining of its cross-sector working groups.

There are now four groups working to meet the sector’s skills needs.

The Attract & Inspire group is chaired by Nigel Fenn MBE, Head of People Projects and Planning at South West Water (part of the Pennon Group). The group is focussed on raising awareness of the energy and utilities sector and the types of jobs available, including the increasing number of Green Jobs. It is also charged with inspiring the next generation to a career within the sector.

The Competence & Skills group, chaired by Caroline Williams, Head of Talent & Development at SGN, focusses on delivering the skills and competencies we need, with priorities including apprenticeships and technical education, emerging skills in the drive to net zero, and supply chain sustainability.

Liam McMyler, Operations Director at Keltbray, is the new chair of the Workforce Resilience group charged with supporting a successful UK economy and society outside the EU and contributing to a sustainable and resilient UK. The group is developing a process to enable employers to identify future skills challenges as soon as they become apparent. This will consist of a horizon scanning exercise, workforce planning analysis, and identifying roles likely to change.

The final group, chaired by Lynne Graham, HR Director at Thames Water focuses on Diversity & Inclusion. This group aims to make sure the sector’s workforce reflects the population it serves, building on the high-level priorities and objectives identified in the Inclusion Measurement Framework results published earlier this year. The framework is a standardised approach to measuring inclusion across the sector.

Phil Beach CBE, Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills, said: “Our work in the EUSP this year continued to focus on three key priorities: the Apprenticeship Levy, Green Jobs and diversity and inclusion. The EUSP’s CEO Council collaborates at the most senior level to secure engagement with government on key skills issues.

“The UK Government is committed to establishing the Green Jobs Delivery Group that will identify issues and drive forward action across the UK economy as part of the Net Zero strategy. I’m really pleased that Michael Lewis, as Chair of the EUSP, has been chosen to co-chair this group – a reflection of the critical role our industries play in achieving Government ambitions.”

Michael Lewis, E.ON UK Chief Executive and Chair of the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, said: “In celebrating the achievements of this year, we never lose sight of how much more there is to do. With two years down and three to go, we have made excellent

progress on delivering the strategy, and as a sector we should be proud but not complacent.

“I look forward to continuing working with my colleagues to collectively make our energy and utilities industries a sector of choice, with opportunities for all to join us and work towards skills for a greener world.”

The ‘2021-2022: A Year of Engagement’ report is freely available here.