South West Water Joins Government to Strengthen UK Energy Workforce

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South West Water has joined forces with the UK Government to support a new scheme that aims to strengthen energy workforces across the country.

The Energy and Efficiency Industrial Partnership, as it is called, is a partnership between employers and the Government to bring together various companies across the energy industry and boost the number of training opportunities for prospective employees. By filling the training and skills void in the current energy market, it is hoped the scheme will help to alleviate unemployment over the next three years, while improving services for customers.

In a recent Government bulletin detailing the scheme, it is estimated that 50 percent of current energy employees will leave their jobs and the industry will require a further 200,000 recruits by 2023. Employers will match the Government’s £33 million investment in the partnership to open up around 70,000 new training opportunities such as Apprenticeships and trainee-ships. The money will also be used to fund increased training to boost quality, quantity and diversity of the companies’ new recruits.

So far, 67 firms from across the power, gas, water, renewable energy and waste management sectors have signed up to the scheme. The latest of these is South West Water, which provides drinking and waste water services to customers within the Cornwall and Devon areas.

Chief executive Chris Loughlin said:

“We fully support this new national partnership which will help to plug the skills gap and provide a steady supply of trained talent for employers.

“At South West Water, our workforce and supply chain partners are critical to providing essential water and sewerage services for our customers. We work closely with skills and education providers, and with our industry partners, to create exciting career opportunities for future recruits.”

The water company is already currently working with young people to hone skills and develop opportunities both for personal and professional growth. It played a key role in building the new University Technical College in South Devon, which will help 14 to 18 year olds to specialise in engineering, water and environment management.

As it searches for its next eight new trainees, South West Water will soon recruit its 50th apprentice, bringing the total number of apprentices to have been recruited since 2011 to 54.

Other utility providers to have joined the Partnership include British Gas, E.ON UK, Thames Water and United Utilities.

South West Water’s Chris Loughlin added, “Harnessing the energy and developing the talents of young people today is crucial for business success tomorrow.”

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