Sector insights: skills and performance challenges in the energy sector
- Document type
- Brennan, Jennifer; Limmer, Hayley
- Date of publication
- 1 March 2015
- Evidence reports. No. 90
- People management: all aspects of managing people
- Business and management
- Material type
This report aims to examine skills and performance challenges and present conclusions about the energy sector, focusing upon a selected number of key occupations in order to yield in-depth insights:
• project/change manager;
• sales and marketing manager;
• overhead lines worker.
This research is based on 91 interviews with key informants and employers.
In 2013, the energy sector contributed 3.3 per cent of the UK’s GDP, directly contributing £25 billion to the UK economy, with a further £71 billion in indirect contributions.
In 2013, 6.2 per cent of the industrial workforce was employed in the sector, equating to 169,000 people. Despite a recent decline in productivity, it remains one of the most productive sectors in terms of GVA per employee.
The UK energy sector is evolving rapidly.
The outlook for the energy industry as a whole is mixed, with sub-sectors facing different challenges.
For example, the electricity sector is forecast to grow (underpinned by substantial investment into smart metering), as is the renewables sector (particularly offshore wind).
Conversely, falling oil prices have been a catalyst for recent job losses in the oil and gas sector.
The interviews reveal skills shortages across a range of key occupations. Interviewees report a limited supply of skilled and experienced workers, caused by:
• strong competition for skills between sub-sectors, other sectors and countries;
• uptake of the most sector-relevant STEM qualifications not meeting employer demand;
• poor visibility of (and consequently interest in) the energy sector as a career prospect among young people and potential new entrants from other industries;
• an ageing workforce.
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