CEOs from 32 of the country's leading energy and utilities employers have launched a sector Inclusion Commitment in an effort to attract more diverse and inclusive talent into the industry.
The Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, led by sector employers, recognised in its Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy: 2020 that its current workforce fails to fully represent the 65 million people it serves every day.
Eighty three per cent of the sector's workforce are male, compared to 47% for all sectors nationally. Women, people with disabilities, the BAME community and under 24s have traditionally been under-represented in the energy and utilities sector, compared to national averages.
To tackle this challenge, and to build a resilient workforce for the future, 32 leading employers have committed themselves to drive change and work collaboratively to attract, recruit and retain a more diverse talent to the sector. Employing around 566,000 people across the UK, the sector will need over 221,000 new recruits to fill its expected skills gap by 2027.
The commitment is underpinned by five principles that commit to working collaboratively and sharing best practice, whilst creating an inclusive culture that enables the sector to attract, recruit and develop people in a way where progress can be measured and transparent.
Nick Ellins (pictured), chief executive, Energy & Utility Skills Group said: "Through the inaugural skills strategy, led by the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, the UK's utilities and their contractors have set out their ambition to enhance the diversity of their workforces and be ever more inclusive. This new commitment is a framework. It starts the collective action to help the sector workforce better mirror the communities it serves and secure the unquestionable benefits that result from having vibrant, truly inclusive and diverse teams."
The Inclusion Commitment & Principles:
1. Being inclusive enables our sector to attract and retain the diverse talent that is crucial to ensuring a resilient workforce.
2. Being inclusive will help us to more innovative and achieve greater productivity by adapting to our changing environment.
3. Having a diverse workforce ensures we are reflective and inclusive of the customers and communities we serve.
1. Work collaboratively as a sector to drive change, challenging ourselves to do things differently, by sharing best practice and delivering sector priorities
2. Focus on inclusion in its entirety, however our sector history requires targeted sector action to start by increasing gender, BAME and disability workforce representation.
3. Measure and be transparent about progress in our individual organisations and as a sector.
4. Ensure we create the culture we need to attract the workforce of tomorrow.
5. Be inclusive in the way we attract, recruit and develop our people.
Employers signed up to the commitment are listed below:
- Anglian Water
- Balfour Beatty
- Cadent Gas
- Clancy Docwra
- Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water
- Energy & Utility Skills
- Essex & Suffolk Water
- FCC Environment
- Morrison Utility Services
- National Grid
- Northern Gas Networks
- Northern Powergrid
- Northumbrian Water
- Scottish Water
- SES Water
- South West water
- Thames Water
- UK Power Networks
- United Utilities
- Veolia UK & Ireland
- Wales & West Utilities
- Yorkshire Water