Collaboration on skills gaps brings benefits for all

Collaboration on skills gaps brings benefits for all
[image_library_tag 5d592f34-99b0-4fd1-89d4-c2be149a2b27 200×200 alt=” ikki ussain head of the ational kills cademy for ower” width=”200″ ] Nikki Hussain, head of the National Skills Academy for Power

 I’m sure you will agree that hearing you’ve secured a contract over your competitors is always worth the blood, sweat and tears you go through to meet those tight deadlines often applied to tenders.

One thing sure to bring you back down to earth though is hearing your workforce saying they’re repeating the same training and assessment ‘yet again’.

There are the obvious training costs and time savings to be made here, but this scenario is when the sector soon realised that an innovative opportunity could evolve if they, companies who were used to competing against each other, were to join forces and work collaboratively; all in the name of the power industry.

This is one of the reasons that the Competency Accord was created.  Five of the six UK Distribution Network Operators, sector employers and stakeholders, all joined forces with us at the National Skills Academy for Power.  Together we had a vision to agree industry competence standards and reduce the amount of duplicated training and assessments across the sector. Another key reason for this development was addressing how time consuming it can be moving resource around the country in storm conditions.

Since its launch in 2011, 28 companies have committed to collaborating towards standardising, where possible, training and assessment practices that commonly occur across the power sector.  As a result we have seen a reduction of the duplicated training experienced, without compromising the existing high standards of safety required within the industry.

“Our aim is for all of our workforce to be qualified to the latest industry standards, and to make it as easy as possible for them to become mobile and accessible to businesses of all sizes across the Power industry.”  

I mentioned innovation.  Whilst working together to standardise the training programmes, and the competency levels within, we realised this approach offered an opportunity to create a pool of competent workers.  Our aim is for all of our workforce to be qualified to the latest industry standards, and to make it as easy as possible for them to become mobile and accessible to businesses of all sizes across the Power industry. 

There are a wide range of individual competence specifications which have been developed for a variety of roles by the power sector, and included within the Competency Accord. There are new industry standards that cover the specific skills of overhead lines persons, cable jointers and substation fitters that can be used to establish individual competence.

The Competency Accord, and these new schemes, facilitates the movement of skilled employees who are work ready and accelerates their DNO authorisation.  All individuals who have successfully completed their training and assessments are registered on the EUSR database which allows contractors and ICPs to instantly prove their competence and qualification levels to a DNO.

The Competency Accord continues to gain momentum, with more employees gaining registrations for existing schemes.   There are ongoing developments to create new training programmes, assessments and methods which support industry needs.

The most satisfaction from the sector collaborating however, comes from being part of the strong ethos and belief we all have, in ensuring that all our workforce have the skills they need now and in the future to ensure a sustainable career.  


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