CEOs from the UK’s top energy and utilities firms have launched a sector inclusion commitment to inspire more diverse and inclusive talent into the sector.
As FE News writes, the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, led by industry employers, acknowledged in its Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy: 2020 report that the workforce does not effectively represent the 65 million people it serves each day.
At present, 83% of the industry’s workforce are male, compared to the national average of 46% for all sectors. Women are under-represented in the sector, as are people with disabilities and people from black, Asian and other non-white minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
In a bid to encourage more diversity in the industry, 32 top employers have committed to spearhead change and work together to attract, recruit and retain a more diverse workforce. These employers include E.ON, Siemens, South West Water and National Grid.
The sector currently employs around 566,000 people. By 2027, an additional 221,000 new recruits will be needed to plug the skills gap.
The inclusion commitment is underpinned by five principles, which include creating an inclusive culture, measuring progress within individual companies and the entire sector, and working collaboratively to drive change.
Nick Ellins, Chief Executive of the Energy & Utility Skills Group, called the commitment a framework, adding that 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.”
Chair of the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership Council, Basil Scarsella, added that the commitment is an opportunity for the entire sector to work together to tackle the challenge of boosting diversity. “We are very keen to share best practice and drive change through proactive, transparent measures,” he added.
Key to building a resilient workforce fit for the future will be proactively working with and attracting those who are currently under-represented.
The government has committed to investing over £425 billion across 600 UK projects to 2020 and beyond. Almost half of these projects are assigned to gas, electricity, waste and water and sewerage, making the sector the single greatest contributor to the government’s UK infrastructure strategy.
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