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Energy & Utility Skills and UVDB drive workforce resilience

Energy & Utility Skills has collaborated with the Achilles Utility Vendor Database (UVDB) to encourage investment in skills throughout the supply chain.

Through its Procurement Skills Accord – an initiative to support responsible practices that deliver workforce resilience and improved skills through procurement – Energy & Utility Skills called on the UVDB to support its guiding principles and drive skills development through its verification process.

After dialogue with the Procurement Skills Accord Steering Group and with industry through the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, the UVDB introduced mandatory questions to its pre-qualification questionnaire.

It requires every potential supplier to the sector to first prove its active commitment to workforce sustainability, as well as strategic planning, training and development programmes, and supporting the industry through sector-wide initiatives. 

Sue Guest, Procurement Skills Accord lead at Energy & Utility Skills, said: "We’re delighted that Achilles has been proactive with the introduction of the new requirements. This measure directly supports our five key Accord commitments to adopt responsible practices through procurement.

"The Procurement Skills Accord Steering Group works hard to steer a step-change in skills development and training investment in the sector’s supply chain through responsible procurement practices.

"With suppliers challenged to remain competitive in global markets, long-term skills issues are often eclipsed by short-term cost pressures. Our aim is to promote relevant skills development across the supply chain and build resilience. By introducing these key requirements, Achilles has supported our drive to address the sector-wide skills gap and ensure a robust supply chain that our members can rely on."

Ian Bartle, chair of the UVDB Steering Group, said: "The UVDB Steering Group endeavours to bring greater sustainability and resilience to the vital utility sector. Workforce resilience is an essential part of that approach, and the changes we have implemented within the database now call on companies to be sustainable with their human capital.

"This complements the increasing focus on human assets that we see coming from the regulated companies, their supply chain, the regulators, unions and investment community."

Author: Robin Hackett, editor, WWT
Topic: Skills & workforce
Tags: Energy & Utility Skills , Procurement Skills Accord , resilience , workforce

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