In a recent webinar, hosted by Utility Week in association with National Grid, industry leaders and experts on responsible business approaches shared their perspectives on meaningful and measurable ways to boost social and economic mobility.
The Utility Week team has repeatedly heard from sector Chief Executives how the pandemic has caused them to ‘reconnect and gain fresh perspective on what it means to lead a privately owned public service provider, in times of crisis and beyond’. The webinar brought senior industry leaders together to debate what this renewed commitment to the industry’s social contract should translate to in terms of meaningful actions and strategies to deliver social and economic value.
Phil Beach, Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills, emphasised how critical it is for companies to make a concerted effort to supercharge internal training and upskilling programmes now to build the skills base required for a green recovery. The urgency of the energy transition, he said, means government and organisations cannot rely on building these skills in new and future employees alone. They need to equip existing workers to support and thrive in the transition – and prepare them to help train future intakes of staff in green economy skills and competencies.
Beach also highlighted the opportunities which may be upcoming for organisations to leverage changes in further education policy which are set to devolve greater control over funding for training to local government. He said this could help utilities work effectively with local and regional authorities to build training and development programmes – for new and existing staff – which are tailored to their local decarbonisation pathways.