It is critical to facilitate an adequate supply of competent people to develop, maintain and enhance the sector for the future. An ageing workforce, replacement and growth of electrical infrastructure, rapid advancement of new technologies and strong competition for talent in the marketplace will all impact the power sector over the next five-15 years, with dramatic results if not addressed now.
The power sector covers the activities associated with the generation, national transmission and local distribution of electricity, up to, and including, the customer's meter. Like most of the world, the UK operates a system where electricity is generated across the UK and then transmitted through a national grid to local distribution systems which bring it to homes and businesses.
With manufacturing and the transport infrastructure dependent on power, we are seeing significant and growing skills shortages at technician and engineer levels, with specific skills gaps around designers, planners, project engineers, system controllers and project managers, and increasing demand for more and more power.
By 2024, the power sector will need to have recruited around 35,000 new employees and increased the availability of quality education and skills providers by almost 80% in order to adequately skill these new people. This is as well as upskilling existing staff, whilst managing the loss of 80% of its existing workforce.
The National Skills Academy for Power has been created by Energy & Utility Skills (EU Skills) and employers in the power sector to address the skills challenge. As well as delivering the skills required to address the Government's energy challenge and support a low-carbon resource-efficient economy, the National Skills Academy for Power will raise the profile of the sector and be recognised as a key factor in maintaining the security of the UK power supply.
For further information about the National SkillsAcademy for Power please visit www.power.nsacademy.co.uk