Skills policy is constantly evolving, with Government reforms gathering pace. Our Policy team is committed to keeping our members informed and prepared for the changes that lie ahead.
Technical Education Reform
The technical and vocational education system and qualification market, is going through a major restructure, resulting in the overhaul of every delivery aspect from entry level to level 5:
- For post-16 students, there will be a choice between a technical and an academic option.
- Within the technical option, there are two routes to skilled employment covering 1) classroom based training programmes (T-levels) and 2) work-based programmes (Apprenticeships).
- The reorganisation will see a streamlining and reduction in the number of publicly-funded technical and vocational qualifications into 15 occupational routes. Government is keen that employers are fully engaged in development of the 15 technical routes. It will be vital to ensure that the broader engineering and manufacturing technical route fulfils the needs of energy and utilities sector employers.
- Currently, policy development work is underway around T levels, the first of which are set to be introduced around 2020, we are also working closely with members to develop a sector-wide vision for T levels.
Apprenticeships, T-levels and Employer Engagement
The Government has set a target of achieving 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020 and skills policy has been heavily focused on promoting apprenticeships and driving uptake:
- On 6th April 2017, Government introduced the apprenticeship Levy as a mechanism to fund apprenticeships and increase employer engagement.
- Energy & Utility Skills runs an Apprenticeship & Technical Education Advisory Group to bring employers together to promote the sector needs and be the ‘sector voice’, inform apprenticeship Levy policy development and its implementation across the UK and share best practice around apprenticeships and wider technical education and to keep them informed on the latest developments relating to policy implementation.
- Energy & Utility Skills also develops sector responses to emerging issues, such as the redefintion of apprenticeships in Scotland and review of the ‘occupational maps’ that will underpin design of technical education courses and qualifications.
- We are working to achieve a UK wide workforce and renewal strategy that acts for the whole UK and ensures skills policy alignment.
Infrastructure policy, the Industrial Strategy and our sector’s Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy
- The recently updated National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline shows that the energy and utility sectors combined are responsible for the largest share of planned infrastructure investment of all the sectors, making a vital economic contribution.
- Shortly afterwards, the recently published Industrial Strategy White Paper highlighted the vital role of skilled people in realising the Government’s vision for improved productivity and growth.
- Our sector’s Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy sets out our vision for a sustainable, skilled workforce to realise infrastructure investment and drive economic growth.
- We are working to achieve recognition of the importance of strategic workforce renewal within the future visions, strategies and policies of the key utilities sponsoring government departments and regulators.
- Inform and ensure central and devolved governments and regulators take a joined-up approach to workforce renewal and skills in order to empower the sector to maximise its contribution to productivity and growth.
- Deliver credible and timely policy analysis and labour market intelligence and insight on the sector to inform decision making and policy development.
More information about policies in the sector can be found in the links below:
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