White paper makes the case for a more strategic approach to workforce planning

Businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors need to consider their current and future talent demands in the context of a wide range of internal and external factors.

Businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors need to consider their current and future talent demands in the context of a wide range of internal and external factors.  Taking a more strategic approach to workforce planning can pay dividends in terms of making better, more informed decisions, and in providing confidence to stakeholders and investors that your business is fully prepared – whatever the future might hold.

Within the energy and utilities sector, Ofgem and Ofwat now require companies to demonstrate how they will ensure they have the right quantity and quality of workforce. Strategic workforce planning is critical to developing these plans.

Despite this, many companies still neglect this critical area of business intelligence. This whitepaper identifies seven factors which outline why a structured approach to workforce planning and human capital reporting should be a priority for all businesses operating in the sector.

  1. Tough labour market conditions – record levels of employment and low unemployment is resulting in higher levels of skills shortages and wage inflation.
  2. Non-UK population trends – since 2016, lower levels of EU migration to the UK and higher emigration have exacerbated the labour market conditions.
  3. The population is growing and changing – an extra 6million will live in the UK by 2040 with increasing ethnic diversity, particularly in the under-24 age group – this should be reflected in the sector’s workforce.
  4. Diversity and inclusion – the sector employs relatively few people of different genders and ethnicities, particularly in the technical and engineering workforce.
  5. Competition for talent – significant investment in the UK’s infrastructure means that competition for talent is stronger than ever and is likely to continue for some time to come.
  6. The supply of talent – there is a recognised shortage of engineering skills in the UK.
  7. Preparing for a different future – decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitisation are changing the skillsets needed by the workforce; and greater uncertainties in many areas mean that businesses would be well-served consider what different futures might hold.


Rob Murphy, Workforce Planning Consultant of Energy & Utility Skills said: “The need for businesses to undertake workforce planning in a more strategic, rounded and comprehensive way has never been greater and is a “no regrets” move.  Whatever the future holds, gaining a deeper understanding of the interdependencies between a business’s demand for talent and the full range of internal and external factors that may affect its ability to attract and retain it, is fundamental to future success.”


Nick Ellins, CEO of Energy & Utility Skills said: “Across the utility environment, long-term investors, regulators and company Boards are looking to see business capital evidenced and that value protected and enhanced. Human Capital explicitly sits alongside regulatory, financial and environmental capital across reporting, and leading businesses embed strategic workforce planning so that their labour force investments deliver operational and corporate resilience and meet the current and future demands of their key stakeholders and society. Industry studies show a 4:1 return where targeted investment is put into workforce development, and the business case is clear. A similar business rationale exists for workforce diversity. Increasingly, modern companies will be questioned where they are not doing workforce planning to demonstrate their approach to developing their human assets and targeting available investment to deliver inclusive, skilled, innovative and committed employees.”

The full report is available for download here.

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For further information on how we might be able to support your organisation in developing its strategic workforce planning capabilities contact us at workforceplanning@euskills.co.uk