Energy & Utility Skills and the Achilles Utility Vendor Database (UVDB) have successfully collaborated to encourage investment in skills throughout the supply chain. Recognising the need for upskilling and workforce resilience, Energy & Utility Skills through its ‘Procurement Skills Accord’*, called on the Achilles Utility Vendor Database to support its guiding principles and drive skills development through its verification process.
After dialogue with the Procurement Skills Accord Steering Group and with industry through the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, the Achilles Utility Vendor Database introduced mandatory questions to its pre-qualification questionnaire. It requires every potential supplier to the sector to first prove its active commitment to workforce sustainability, as well as strategic planning, training and development programmes, and supporting the industry through sector-wide initiatives.
Sue Guest, Procurement Skills Accord Lead, Energy & Utility Skills, said: “We’re delighted that Achilles has been proactive with the introduction of the new requirements. This measure directly supports our five key Accord commitments to adopt responsible practices through procurement.
“The Procurement Skills Accord Steering Group works hard to steer a step-change in skills and training investment through the procurement chain. With suppliers working hard to remain competitive in global markets, long-term skills issues are often eclipsed by short-term cost pressures. Our aim is to promote relevant skills development across the supply chain and build resilience. By introducing these key requirements, Achilles has supported our drive to address the sector-wide skills gap and ensure a robust supply chain that our members can rely on.”
Ian Bartle, Chair of the UVDB Steering Group, said: “The UVDB Steering Group endeavours to bring greater sustainability and resilience to the vital utility sector. Workforce resilience is an essential part of that approach, and the changes we have implemented within the database now call on companies to be sustainable with their human capital. This complements the increasing focus on human assets that we see coming from the regulated companies, their supply chain, the regulators, unions and investment community”.
* About the Procurement Skills Accord:
- The Procurement Skills Accord is an initiative supported by 56 signatory companies in the energy and utilities sector and supply chain. Each has pledged to adopt responsible practices that deliver workforce resilience and improved skills through procurement.
- The Procurement Skills Accord supports a set of five robust and challenging commitments that require signatory companies to ensure that responsible procurement practices are used to drive investment in skills. The Accord applies to technical and operational training in the energy and utilities sector.
The five key commitments are:
- Address sector-wide skills gaps and shortages
- Promote signing up to the Accord through the supply chain
- Promote relevant skills development across the supply chain through procurement
- Continuously improve performance
- Monitor and report progress