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Maintaining a skilled workforce that reflects the changing nature of the industry

Maintaining a skilled workforce that reflects the changing nature of the industry

By Andy Rodden, Energy Transition Programme Director, ETZ Ltd

 

A major challenge facing the energy sector is around the need to develop and maintain a skilled workforce that reflects the changing nature of the industry. This challenge is not only reflected in the nature of how Energy will be generated and used but to the emergence of new technologies and the increase in digitisation that will drive Energy Transition.

There is a broad recognition of the importance of developing STEM and the need to position energy beyond Oil and Gas by demonstrating the positive impact and key role that the sector will have in delivering Net Zero. As we develop new industries including the creation of high-value manufacturing, we need our current and future workforce to view this as a long-term sustainable career. There should be a collective effort, across government and industry, to ensure careers are accessible by harnessing initiatives like the Young Persons Guarantee, alongside reinforcing the role for apprenticeships and degrees to create achievable pathways for anyone wanting to enter the Energy Sector regardless of gender, background or academic choices.

There is a massive potential for knowledge transfer to future generations but industry bodies and employers must continue the work underway to ensure that certification should not be a barrier and limit the pool of available personnel.

Ultimately a key cornerstone of the successful delivery of skills to the industry is the link between industry, employers and academia to ensure that people entering the sector are equipped with the skills to make them successful and to enhance their employability. Employers will not only look to attracting the best talent but continue to invest in upskilling and reskilling the current workforce to deliver a sustainable Energy Transition and Net Zero. Some of these competencies will not exist today or may be outside of the Energy Sector and will need to be developed or acquired to meet future demand.

This was a key driver for the decision to facilitate the creation of the National Energy Skills Accelerator (NESA) as part of Energy Transition Zone in Aberdeen. NESA was created to act as both a focal point to work with industry to identify and deliver the competencies that employers need now and, in the future, to meet the needs of Energy Transition. NESA is intended to act as both a point of reference for the energy sector but to also collaborate with other skills hubs and initiatives, nationally and Internationally, to emulate best practice from other sectors which will be essential to ensure that the workforce is ready and available to meet the challenges that delivering Energy Transition will present.

Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE

Published: 10-08-2021

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