Utility Week

UTILITY Week 29th April 2016

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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UTILITY WEEK | 29TH APRIL - 5TH MAY 2016 | 19 turbines, which have a hub height of 144m and a tip height of 210m. Katherine Blum, project manager in SgurrEnergy's implementation team, said: "With its six tower sec- tions and 64.4m-long blades, it is tremendous to see the sheer scale of the wind turbines installed." The project, situated in the Humppila region in southern Finland, is expected to be energised towards the end of 2016. If you have an asset or project you would like to see featured in this slot, email paul.newton@fav-house.com or call 01342 332085. Pipe up Mathew Beech N ews that British Gas is to cut 684 jobs at its Oldbury office came "completely out of the blue", according to GMB union national secretary Brian Strutton. For Centrica, this comes as the latest part of its strat- egy to reduce costs by £750 million per year, which will see a total of 6,000 jobs being cut by 2020, although an additional 2,000 will be created. This is by no means isolated to the utilities sector, as staff of BHS and Tata Steel can testify. The key, especially in the highly skilled roles that make up a large section of the energy and water industries, is to keep hold of this talent – especially as there is a skills crisis looming on the horizon. The sector is predicted to lose an estimated 50 per cent of current employees by 2023, with 200,000 new recruits needed by the same time to help fill this gap. Utility Week Live will tackle this issue in May, and speakers in the seminars will address what the sector is, and should be, doing to retain and train the expertise needed as the industry enters a period of substantial change (see Analysis, p20). With increasing pressures for innovative engineering solutions to help keep costs low and to improve the sustainability of the sectors, those staff with decades of experi- ence are valuable commodities. But this workforce is ageing, and needs to pass on its collective knowledge to the new generation. Kev Sankar, commercial director at Energy and Utility Skills, is leading a seminar on nurturing and retaining at Utility Week Live, and will praise the work done by the utilities in expanding their apprenticeship programmes. The final session in the Streetworks theatre on day one at the show, led by National Joint Utilities Group (NJUG) chief executive Bob Gallienne, also addresses this, and looks at the skills the workforce of the future will need. These latest job losses serve as a reminder that those employees with valuable and essential skills for the energy and water companies could easily be lost. The sector is aware of the challenge, and is starting to take steps to ensure its future, as well as that of its staff, remains bright. Mathew Beech, associate insights editor, Utility Week "The key for the utilities sector is to keep hold of its talent – especially as there is a skills crisis looming on the horizon." Operations & Assets The utility workforce is ageing, and needs to pass on its collective knowledge

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