SSE unites with industry to address skills gap

SSE is partnering with the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership to launch the first joint Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy.

SSE has committed to a 12-month pilot programme to encourage people into careers in the industry. The Talent Source Network aims to help employers attract a wider range of prospective candidates as well as encourage professionals looking for a move or to retrain.

The energy and utilities sector requires 221,000 new recruits by 2027 in order to provide the essential services its customers seek and the infrastructure the UK needs for its economic growth.

It aims to ensure the UK’s energy and utilities sector retains a safe, skilled, resilient and sustainable workforce.  It sets out the reality of the challenges faced, initiatives underway and the ambitions the Skills Partnership shares in attracting more people into the industry.

Colin Nicol, SSE’s Managing Director, Networks, is a member of the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, alongside other industry leaders from the sector. Colin said: “We work in a dynamic industry that provides many interesting, challenging and rewarding opportunities. However, recent research shows that 20% of the workforce in the energy and utilities sector is due to retire by 2023 - leaving a significant skills gap that we must work together to address.

“The Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy will play an important role in helping close this skills gap and ensure we have a sustainable workforce. Taking a collaborative approach through the partnership is vital as together we can identify a consistent way to recruit and train people and standardise the required qualifications across the sectors. This will create a clear route to help our industry compete for future talent.

"The strategy also complements SSE’s own ambitions around diversity. I look forward to working with the project partners to create pathways into the industry for people of all backgrounds, creating a workforce reflective of our customers and wider society – an important asset to any successful business.”

Nick Ellins, the Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills, said “The National Infrastructure Plan is now widely recognised as forming the backbone of industrial strategy, and more than half of that plan is required to be delivered by the power, water, gas, wastewater and waste management industries. To date the accompanying infrastructure skills strategy has not explicitly recognised this critical contribution or done enough to ensure that the businesses involved have the right environment to ensure a sustainable and talented workforce exists.”