The Sector’s Inclusion Commitment, launched in February this year by the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership in collaboration with 32 sector organisations, has received its latest sign-ups from major water companies including British Water, Bristol Water, Southern Water and South Staffs Water / Cambridge Water.
A key priority of the Energy & Utilities Workforce Renewal Skills Strategy: 2020 is attracting and recruiting more diverse talent into our sector which reflects our local communities. Currently, our sector is not representative of the UK workforce for gender, BAME, disability, and under 24s. The commitment was launched, by employers within the sector, to tackle these challenges through promoting their businesses to under-represented talent.
Leveraging its collective impact, the Partnership is committed to working across all sectors to recruit and attract a workforce that mirrors and speaks to the communities it serves. Through its work, the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership and its CEOs will highlight the great work already being done by the sector as well as continuing to drive change through its ongoing commitment to inclusive attraction, recruitment, and development of its workforce.
Lila Thompson, British Water, CEO said:
“British Water is proud to have signed the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership’s Inclusion Commitment which aligns with our own diversity values. By making the water industry more welcoming and supportive of women and different ethnic groups, more and more people will see it as a sector they want to be a part of. This approach is vital if we want to tackle the current skills gap and make our industry more representative of the customers it serves.
As future thinkers, British Water has the next generation of leaders in mind – we want to create a place where we can help people of all backgrounds focus on and harness their strengths and understand the value they can bring to the industry.
Those already in the sector must feel supported if they are to maintain job satisfaction, develop their skills, reach their potential and explore opportunities for career progression. We have a number of initiatives in place to do this, such as our Women in Water campaign, which aims to support women with their career and personal development. We recognise, however, that work can’t be limited to one-off events – there has to be a fundamental shift across the whole sector, which is why I urge all companies to join us in signing this important commitment.”
Mel Karam, Bristol Water, CEO said:
“Bristol Water is a values-based company with over 500 employees. We are extremely proud of the great service we provide to our customers and of our contribution to the wellbeing of our local communities. The area we serve is vibrant and diverse and we are committed to employing an equally diverse and inclusive workforce to form our Bristol Water family, who together deliver our ambitious plans. This is integral to our company purpose, which is to have a positive impact on the lives of our customers, communities, stakeholders and employees.”
Ian McAulay, Southern Water, CEO said:
“The challenges we face as a society and a business can best be addressed by working collaboratively with the customers and communities we serve. By doing that we succeed together.
A diverse workforce which truly represents these communities is an essential step towards our becoming a more resilient, innovative and inclusive company.
On behalf of Southern Water, I am proud to support the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership Inclusion Commitment.”
Phil Newland, South Staffs Water/Cambridge Water, Managing Director said:
“Our guiding purpose is to provide clean wholesome water to 1.7 million people and around 45,000 businesses across our South Staffs and Cambridge regions. Our people very much count in the services we deliver to our communities. We’re passionate about being a workplace that promotes and values inclusion and diversity. More importantly, being an environment where anyone, from any background, can do their best work. We fully support the principles of the utility sector’s inclusion commitment”.
To find out more about the commitment, click here.
Additionally, if you’re an employer and keen to learn more about the sector’s Inclusion Commitment and get involved, please contact Louise Parry, Director of People & Organisational Development.