Improving the quality of sector training provision is a key strategic priority of the Energy and Utilities Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy: 2020 – a sector strategy developed through the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership. Our collaboration with M Group Services is an excellent example of converting this priority into tangible deliverables.
M Group Services is a leading utility services provider with a workforce in excess of 4,500. They work with clients in the energy (electricity and gas) and water industries – helping them to renew, refurbish and maintain their essential infrastructure and networks to keep the UK running. The highest quality of reskilling, training and assessment is critical to support a competent and safe workforce.
M Group Services approached Energy & Utility Skills to formally endorse their Gas Network Site Manager Development Programme. The aim of this programme is to develop a pool of talent that will become future management within the Western Gas Alliance. Career progression is linked to specific programme modules and individuals progress at their own pace – in line with the knowledge and experience they acquire along the way. M Group Services have the freedom to design and develop their own training programme and endorsement by Energy & Utility Skills giving them the assurance that it meets a recognised quality standard – a sector ‘kitemark’.
As part of their drive for continuous improvement, in October 2018 M Group Services embarked on a journey to improve the quality of the external training providers they worked with – as well as the training programmes themselves. At the time, they worked with over 180 training providers – this has now reduced to just 25. The quality of the providers and their programmes is underpinned by Energy & Utility Skills’ Quality Framework – including our approval and ongoing audit processes.
This approach has resulted in improvements to the quality of the training their people receive, as well as saving M Group Services time and money – they can rely on Energy and Utility Skills to maintain the reliability and consistency of learning outcomes.
A new bespoke M Group Services system is supported and integrated with Energy & Utility Skills Register (EUSR) – the sector skills register. EUSR provides a record of an individual’s training and skills – and sometimes also their authorisations and qualifications. The register can be accessed online 24/7, reducing the need for individuals to carry lots of different cards. This quick access to training and skills records also supports a flexible workforce, it reduces duplication of training which saves the individual and M Group Services time and money.
M Group Services were recognised for this work at the Utility Week Awards in 2018, by being awarded the Staff Development Award.
Richard Nelson, Compliance Training Manager, M Group Services says: “We’ve had our training programmes endorsed by Energy & Utility Skills for a few years now. The quality assurance around the approvals and audits means they have more rigour and because we value this so much, we are now getting our supply chain to get their training programmes endorsed. This will save us a lot of time as Energy & Utility Skills will ensure they are of the highest standard for all individuals working for M Group Services, directly or indirectly.“