SSE joins sector-wide inclusion and diversity commitment

SSE has joined forces with fellow utility employers to attract more diverse talent to the UK energy industry.

The Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, led by 28 companies across the UK, has launched a long-term commitment to plug a 220,000 expected skills gap by 2027 and improve inclusion across the industry.

Women, people with disabilities, the BAME community and under 24s are all under-represented in the energy and utilities sector, compared to national averages and the partnership’s Workforce Renewal Skills Strategy aims to tackle this.

SSE is committed to improving diversity across its workforce and has invested in a three-year strategy to make changes across the organisation at every level, to encourage people from all walks of life and experiences to consider a career in energy.

Its work to-date has been recognised with a range of awards, including the prestigious Utility Week Diversity Award, recognising the efforts the company is making to drive long-term, sustainable cultural change.

Colin Nicol, SSE’s Managing Director, Networks, and EU Skills Council member, said: “There’s no quick fix or one-off initiative to build a more diverse workforce. It requires systemic change to give the best opportunity to attract, retain and develop the broadest range of talent.

“Action not words alone will drive diversity and this commitment is backed up with tangible outputs from all organisations involved to bring about the change we need.”

Nick Ellins, Chief Executive, Energy & Utility Skills Group, added: “Through the inaugural skills strategy, led by the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, the UK’s utilities and their contractors have set out their ambition to enhance the diversity of their workforces and be ever more inclusive.

“This new commitment is a framework. It starts the collective action to help the sector workforce better mirror the communities it serves and secure the unquestionable benefits that result from having vibrant, truly inclusive and diverse teams.”

There is huge opportunity to educate and develop a diverse, skilled workforce fit for the future.

More than £425 billion is being invested in over 600 major projects across the UK to 2020/21 and beyond. Nearly half the projects in this pipeline are assigned to electricity, gas, water and sewerage, and waste, making the energy and utilities sector the largest single contributor to the government’s UK infrastructure strategy.