Over 200 representatives from leading power employers, regulators and training providers, gathered recently (12 September 2018) at the home of English football, St. George’s Park, to explore the future of skills in the UK power industry and the challenges it currently faces.
Future skills needs was the theme of the day, with industry leaders such as Basil Scarsella, Chief Executive of UK Power Networks, and Bev Keogh, Director of Networks Business Assurance at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, discussing how employers can prepare a resilient workforce for the future. Artificial intelligence, robotics and big data were some of the big concepts up for debate on the day, with experts speaking about the impact these technologies could have on existing jobs and how they can also create new, highly skilled and innovative roles.
Diversity was also an important theme, as leading employers highlighted that it makes business sense to employ a diverse team to strengthen the effectiveness of the workforce and better reflect the customers their businesses serve. There was a recognised need for more diversity in the industry, whether it be increasing the gender balance and addressing the gender pay gap, increasing BAME representation, or encouraging more applications from individuals with disabilities. As one of the sectors in the UK with the lowest numbers of female employees, this was a key take away for attendees on the day.
At the heart of the conference were people and inspiring the future workforce. Over the course of the day we heard from a panel of rising stars in industry, with young representatives from Amey, Ofgem, Northern Powergrid and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, who were examples of the excellent talent that exists within the sector, showing industry how they can attract and grow more of this talent. Conference attendees were also inspired by David Clarke, former Paralympian and GB Blind Football Captain, and Jon Watts, an ex-offender who transformed his life by undertaking all three levels of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.
Nick Ellins, Group Chief Executive, National Skills Academy for Power and Energy & Utility Skills, commented:
“The National Skills Academy for Power’s Skills Summit brought together the UK sector’s policy makers, regulators, regulated companies, supply chain and unions, who collectively deliver such essential services to our society and economy. The collaborative and positive environment focused on ensuring workforce resilience, sharing the latest best practice and encouraging the industry’s rising stars and workforce of tomorrow.”
Get involved in the discussions about the NSAP awards and conference on Twitter by following @NSAPower and searching for #NSAP2018.