As the UK moves towards net zero, the power sector workforce will need to be able to keep up with rapidly evolving technology and ways of working.
They will also need to be agile and flexible; capable of responding quickly and effectively to a wide range of challenges, from the geopolitical to extreme weather events.
These are just some of the recommendations from a deep dive into the skills needed for workforce resilience in the power industry, undertaken by Energy & Utility Skills as part of the Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy.
In our research, we have focused on skill areas critical to the resilience of the industry, and the extent to which currently available pathways are sufficient to meet demands now and in the future.
For each of the areas we analysed, including craft skills; engineering; non-technical skills; and digital/new technology; we sought to find out:
- What is the likely demand for these skills over the coming years?
- What new skills, if any, will be required by the workforce?
- Are current education and training provision and pathways sufficient to meet these new demands for new skills? If not – where might gaps exist?
- How can the transition of skills be better achieved?
Our research returned several recommendations for the power sector, which have been outlined in the ‘Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy – Workforce Resilience Workstream Power Industry Skills Deep Dive’report.
In brief, there are common upskilling requirements across a range of power industry skill sets, particularly in relation to IT literacy and cyber security but also to knowledge of electrical engineering in non-technical roles.
The introduction of AI technology and a spreading adoption of “Open Data” principles has made clear the need for specific job roles within the workforce to help meet demand.
A significant barrier to a free-flowing talent pipeline has emerged around having sufficient training and mentoring capacity within organisations, and there are also continuing challenges with attraction and retention within core roles like crafts and electrical engineering.
The next stage will be for us to work with power industry employers to respond to these recommendations.
For the full analysis, members of Energy & Utility Skills can access the ‘Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy – Workforce Resilience Workstream: Power Industry Skills Deep Dive’ report on the members area of our website.
To find out more about membership and its benefits, contact a member of our team at ClientManagement@euskills.co.uk.
The Power Workforce Resilience Project forms part of a wider programme of research that will include other parts of the energy and utility sector, including water, gas, and waste.
If you have any further questions about this report, the Power Workforce Resilience Project, or about the Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy, please contact email@example.com or 0121 713 8255.