Utility Week

UTILITY Week 16th December 2016

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

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UTILITY WEEK | 16TH - 22ND DECEMBER 2016 | 21 Dagenham, Doncaster (pictured) and Widnes. A similar campaign last year raised £4,000 for charities, and resulted in 192 tonnes of waste food being diverted away from landfill. If you have an asset or project you would like to see featured in this slot, please send your pictures and details of the project to: paul.newton@fav-house.com or call 01342 332085 Pipe up Andy Brierley Most of us are familiar with the "golden hour". This is the 60 minutes aer someone has suffered a trauma injury, when a medical team has the best chance to save their life. It is a powerful concept easily understood. It can also be used to reflect on the critical time periods that define success and failure in other walks of life. One of those is recruitment of field workers, particu- larly in the utilities sector. You could call it the golden 60 days – the time you have to convince a new recruit, by their experiences and by your actions as an employer, that they have made an excellent career choice. There has never been a more important time to get this right. The Energy and Efficiency Partnership says the utility sector will need to recruit 200,000 new people by 2023. This is why we've joined Thames Water in sign- ing a new skills accord designed to make sure the utility industry has the people and skills needed. Part of our approach must be to focus more effort on how our new recruits, espe- cially field workers, experience the water utility industry in the first few weeks of working with us. First, though, recruitment needs to be focused on attitude as much as aptitude, across the new broader range of skills needed in the utilities industry, notably soer skills around customer service. Induction and initial training should be immersive and inspiring, as well as instructional. Churn among certain job roles within the first weeks of recruitment is very high. Capturing the imagination of new recruits is essential. They need to see the personal benefits of their work: making a difference, helping others, doing some- thing really worthwhile, and something challenging. We need to develop more in-house training, and more imaginative ways for new recruits to gain qualifications. That might mean initiatives such as a company scholar- ships or bursaries, and career support for a wider range of employees. We also need to break down barriers vertically and horizontally in our organisations. We have an increas- ing number of women in field operation teams, and we want more. If field engineers want to become planners, we can help them. If they want to progress through the ranks, there should be nothing to stop them. Doctors and paramedics have specific, tested proce- dures, proven to save lives during the golden hour. We need the same confidence that we're doing all we can to recruit and keep the right colleagues during the golden 60 days. Andy Brierley, technical director, Lanes Group "Utilities must make a con- scious effort to convince new recruits that they've made the right career choice." "Induction and initial training should be immersive and inspiring, as well as instructional" Operations & Assets

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