Spinning Reserve and Energy & Utility Skills, harnessing talent and skills in the energy and utilities sector into low carbon start ups - EU Skills

Spinning Reserve and Energy & Utility Skills, harnessing talent and skills in the energy and utilities sector into low carbon start ups

Spinning Reserve is a not-for-profit initiative to retain talent and skills in the energy and utilities sector at a time when COVID-19 is putting thousands at risk of redundancy.

Spinning Reserve and Energy & Utility Skills, harnessing talent and skills in the energy and utilities sector into low carbon start ups

Only last month, the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership launched its Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy, announcing a gap of 277,000 skilled workers required over the next decade and welcomes this move to get talent into small businesses and low carbon start-ups.

Background to Spinning Reserve

Spinning Reserve is the term for power stations that are on-line and have capacity to generate more output when called upon. Like power stations with extra capacity, there are now thousands of energy workers on furlough or unemployed who are ready and able to generate more ideas.

Through Spinning Reserve (a social not-for-profit business), the talent of unemployed or furloughed energy sector workers is being harnessed to take low carbon innovation and business ideas off the drawing board and into reality. It’s the start-up incubator for the energy and low carbon sectors that everyone can join.

Spinning Reserve was founded by Rosa Stewart whose experience spans across the energy sector, including having led development of clean growth policy at BEIS. The Spinning Reserve Project is run by 10 volunteers with a range of energy and sustainability backgrounds, many of whom are unemployed themselves.

Getting involved

The initial aim of the project is to link individuals with ideas, time and skills to existing energy and low carbon start-ups and small businesses. The next phase of the project will set up a platform and an incubator for unemployed workers to create – and source funding for – their own projects.

Over 30 start-ups and small businesses have signed up and are actively seeking people with ideas and skills across a wide range of functions, including business case development, market testing, branding and marketing, product design, software and technology development, engineering, regulation, communications and many others.

Individuals who are currently on furlough or unemployed can sign-up.

Start-ups and small businesses who would like to seek support from talented individuals can sign up.

More information is available at www.spinningreserve.org

Founder of the Spinning Reserve Project: Rosa Stewart, stated:

“Thousands of workers from our sector are losing their jobs as a result of COVID-19. The challenge of reaching net zero means we can’t afford to lose this talent but need to look at how to reskill and transition them into new ventures in growth areas. The more people and businesses who get involved, the more projects and start-ups will spring out of Spinning Reserve, and the easier it will become to build a low carbon economy, tackle climate change, and alleviate social problems caused by energy sector furloughs and unemployment.”

Jan Ward CBE, Chair of Energy & Utility Skills, commented:

“Through the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, the UK utility sector has just released its workforce renewal & skills strategy, setting out for the next five years its need for tens of thousands of skilled people, and emphasising the pivotal role it will play in delivering our nations net zero ambitions. COVID-19 has further helped to show the critical role they perform for keeping society running.

One key part of that new workforce strategy is the retention of skilled labour within the sector wherever possible and identifying where existing skills gaps can be addressed through retraining or reskilling those becoming available to the labour market. The Spinning Reserve initiative is highly complementary to this aim, directly targeting unemployed or furloughed energy sector workers and acting to get their skills quickly deployed into roles that can bring immediate societal and personal value. We are very pleased to be working with Rosa and her team, and I praise their effort and innovation in seeking to help others.”