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United Utilities joins Energy and Utilities Skills Partnership

United Utilities has joined forces with 27 organisations working to secure the continued delivery of the energy and utilities sector's services, as the newest member of the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership.

Attendees at the Energy and Utilities Skills Partnership Council Meeting on 4 December Attendees at the Energy and Utilities Skills Partnership Council Meeting on 4 December

The Skills Partnership is a collective of leading sector employers that are working together to “ensure a safe, skilled and sustainable workforce provides the essential services that our customers seek and meets the UK’s needs from the energy and utilities infrastructure”.

Since its establishment in 2016, the Skills Partnership has taken action to address sector workforce needs, most notably with the inaugural Workforce Renewal & Skills Strategy, launched in February 2017. The Skills Strategy was the first-ever sector-wide strategic plan for the continued delivery of clean water, waste removal, power and gas to consumers and businesses across the UK.

It led to a series of successful initiatives being progressed by the Skills Partnership, including sector attraction and recruitment through Talent Source Network; the Procurement Skills Accord pilot, which aims to increase investment in skills in the supply chain through procurement, becoming business as usual for over 50 energy and utilities organisations; and the formation of a Diversity & Inclusion Network Forum.

United Utilities will collaborate with senior leaders across the sector to continue to deliver the Skills Partnership key priorities, working with devolved and UK government, policy-makers, regulators and other key stakeholders to proactively drive structured and sustained investment in the sector and its workforce. 

Steve Fraser, chief operating officer of United Utilities, said: "The skills strategy is vitally important to ensure that as essential services, fundamental to growth and prosperity across the UK, we can come together to influence, nurture, encourage and develop the workforce of today and provide opportunities for the talent of tomorrow.

"As the skills required evolve, we need to be able to provide attractive opportunities which encourage a diverse range of people to want to come and work for us all and keep the infrastructure of the country and business powered into the future. United Utilities is proud to be a part of the council."

Nick Ellins, chief executive of Energy & Utility Skills, said: "I welcome United Utilities joining the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership Council. They have been constantly committed to building a resilient water workforce, partnering my team to help the water industry be at the cutting edge of the apprenticeship reforms and achieve new levels of a water quality and safety culture.

"I now look forward to working with Steve and his organisation even more closely, as the whole utility sector seeks to take control of its attractiveness and competitiveness within the UK labour markets, through the shared Workforce Renewal & Skills Strategy."

Click here to read our feature on diversity in the water industry and tackling the skills gap

Author: Robin Hackett, editor, WWT
Topic: Policy & Regulation
Tags: skills , United Utilities , Energy & Utility Skills

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