Talent Within Sector Celebrated National Skills Academy Power Awards

The Talent Within the Sector Celebrated at National Skills Academy for Power Awards

The breadth of talent within the power industry was celebrated last night (12 September 2019) at the annual National Skills Academy for Power (NSAP)* People in Power Awards, which took place at The Mere Hotel, Knutsford.

The Talent Within the Sector Celebrated at National Skills Academy for Power Awards

Skills, enthusiasm and commitment were recognised across eight categories, judged and sponsored by leading employers in the power industry. The awards recognised rising stars in the industry, celebrated commitments to health & safety, diversity and development, through to the highly anticipated, and sought after, inspirational leader award.

The event saw nearly 200 representatives from industry come together to celebrate success and promote the power industry as a fantastic place to have a fulfilling and exciting career.

The winners on the night were announced as:

  • Rising Star – Power Apprenticeship of the Year, sponsored by Northern Powergrid: Daisy MacDonald, National Grid
  • Rising Star – Power Graduate of the Year, sponsored by Northern Powergrid: David Devoy, National Grid
  • Outstanding Contribution to Health, Safety and the Environment, sponsored by UK Power Networks: Richard Gough, SSEN
  • Inclusion Initiative, sponsored by SSE: Inclusive Culture Initiative, E.ON UK
  • Best Learning and Development Initiative, sponsored by Energy UK: Electricity North West Apprenticeship Scheme, Electricity North West.
  • Training Provider of the Year (Company) sponsored by ScottishPower: Skills 4 LTD
  • Training Provider of the Year (In-house Team) sponsored by ScottishPower: UK Power Networks
  • Inspirational Leader sponsored by Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service (EUIAS): Mick Murray, Morrison Utility Services
  • SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Outstanding contribution to the sector: Bryan Ashford

In addition to the line-up of industry awards, there was a Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Sector. This was given to Bryan Ashford who has been an active and passionate leader of the skills agenda for over 15 years. Bryan’s technical knowledge and drive to collaborate led him to chair the NSAP Electrical Standards and Qualifications Group and to be part of the inception of the Competency Accord in 2011. His contribution is outstanding, and the award well deserved.

Steve Barrett, Director of Strategic Accounts at Energy & Utility Skills, Head of NSAP and judge***, said: “The standard and breadth of nominations this year was fantastic. The talent across our sector is exceptional and is led and operated by some of the best people in the UK. The finalists are an inspiration, I hope they go on to inspire not only future award winners but continue to act as an ambassador for attracting new talent to the energy and utilities sector.”


Nick Ellins, Group Chief Executive, National Skills Academy for Power and Energy & Utility Skills, added: “The National Skills Academy for Power awards recognises the excellence and diversity of the people in the sector and promotes fulfilling careers in the power industry to talent from all walks of life right across the UK. It is important for us all to take the time to recognise the individuals and companies that promote best practice and inspire others through their commitment to the sector, its customers and society. It is a great pleasure to be able to have the opportunity to applaud their incredible achievements in front of an audience of policy makers, regulators, regulated companies, unions, contractors and the wider supply chain that work closely together to deliver services to 66 million people and power our economy.”

* NSAP is a membership organisation that delivers initiatives, products and services identified as essential by our member employers to the long-term sustainability and attractiveness of the sector.

** Energy & Utility Skills is at the forefront of bringing our industry leaders together to identify and address the skills challenges our sector faces. It provides membership, assurance and skills solutions to help employers attract, develop and retain a sustainable skilled workforce. It collaborates with employers to support their workforce needs and sector-wide workforce mobility.

*** The judges were:

  • Kuljit Bains, Head of Forward Optimisation at E.ON UK Energy Markets Limited
  • Stephen Barrett, Director of Strategic Accounts and Head of NSAP at Energy & Utility Skills
  • Kevin Blenkinsop, Workforce Renewal Manager, Field Services at Northern Powergrid
  • Sarah Halliday, Retail Technical Training Manager at SSE and Chair of the Smart Metering Network Group (SMNG)
  • Colin Jellicoe, Human Resources Director at Morrison Utility Services
  • Dudley Sparks, Head of Technical Training and Assurance at UK Power Networks
  • Andy Sturgeon, Development and Funding Coordinator at ScottishPower
  • Dan Tingle, New Talent Development and Training Support Manager at National Grid
  • David Tong, Business Director for Power & Telecoms at Amey