As part of its ongoing partnership with Institute of Water, Energy & Utility Skills sponsored three categories in the skills section in association with CABWI – Water Industry Skills Champion, Skills Employer of the Year, and Training Organisation of the Year
Water Industry Skills Champion and Skills Employer of the Year, were won by Shirley Campbell, Scottish Water, Director of People, Workplace and Organisational Development and Northumbrian Water Group (NWG) respectively.
Shirley met the judges’ criteria for being “an inspirational skills champion, who has made a tangible difference in supporting skills and people development in the water and wastewater sector.”
She said: “It was both a delight and privilege to have been awarded the Water Industry Skills Champion Award. It is great recognition for the work and commitment by the Scottish Water Talent and Development team, who ensure that the sector is provided with the skills it needs to be sustainable into the future.”
Recognised for “attracting, developing and retaining talent whilst being an employer of choice,” and “promoting the sector as a career opportunity to a wide, inclusive and diverse workforce,” NWG was named Skills Employer of the Year. NWG, whose Chief Executive Heidi Mottram was recently awarded a CBE for services to the water industry and business in the Queen′s Birthday Honours list, topped a very competitive category which also featured United Utilities, South West Water and Severn Trent Water in the final shortlist.
Sophie Pickup, Learning and Development Manager at Northumbrian Water, said: “We’re delighted to win this award! Our aim is to deliver the best possible service to our customers and ensuring we have the right people in place is the only way we achieve that goal.
“We’re committed to investing in our people and making sure that they’re happy, motivated and are equipped with the skills they need to do their jobs really well. The energy and utilities sector as a whole needs a resilient and sustainable workforce to secure its future success and we’re very proud to be recognised for our contribution to the water industry with such a prestigious award.”
Two companies were judged to be the Training Organisations of the Year: McCrae Training and Utility Construction Training Ltd.
“The submissions we received demonstrated the very high standards that both colleagues and employer companies are working to in the UK water industry,” said Nick Ellins, Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills, an awards panel judge and former two-time Institute of Water President. “Our jobs as adjudicators on each of the three categories were very difficult ones, as we expected they would be. We wouldn’t have it any other way – the water industry has a key role in public health and the UK’s economic future and it is vital that colleagues and companies champion workforce resilience and sustainability. Simply put, without a sustainable and resilient workforce, you can’t have a sustainable and resilient sector.”
Ofwat has become the first regulator to formally recognise the importance of workforce resilience. It was initially flagged in Ofwat’s ‘Resilience in the Round’ approach for a sustainable water sector, before featuring heavily in the price setting Draft Methodology. It is now a requirement for PR19 business plan submissions under the Final Methodology.
Institute of Water and Energy & Utility Skills are collaborating in a strategic partnership that reflects their shared values and strategic aims. They are working proactively together to attract talent, promote professional excellence, build pride in the industry and ensure a sustainable and resilient workforce. The collaboration puts into action key recommendations from the first-ever Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy, published in February 2017.
The Awards were organised by the Institute of Water, the only professional body that exclusively supports the careers of all UK water industry colleagues. Founded in 1945, it offers unique and independent opportunities for learning, development and networking.
Ellins concluded: “We are proud to have partnered with the Institute of Water for this event. Acknowledging excellent practice is a vital part of our work to bring greater recognition for UK energy and utilities for seamlessly delivering its essential services to 65 million people every day.”
Lynn Cooper, Chief Executive of the Institute of Water, said: “The vision of the Institute of Water is for the UK water industry to be served by the best people and, to help achieve this, we need to support and recognise the training providers and the ambition of water companies and the supply chain. Energy & Utility Skills and CABWI have a similar vision and values and I am delighted they have again chosen our Dinner to recognise and celebrate the range of work being done to improve skills across the water sector.”
Scott McCrae, Managing Director of McCrae Training Ltd, said: “The team at McCrae Training are extremely proud and honoured to be in receipt of this prestigious award from Energy & Utility Skills. Developing people is at the very heart of our business which has been further endorsed by the award aligning to our mission statement: To be Industry Leaders in delivering High Quality Accredited training and assessment within the Water Industry and Utilities Sector both Nationally and Internationally. On behalf of all the staff at McCrae Training thank you.”
For more information on Energy & Utility Skills’ work in the water industry, visit the industry page on its website.