Utility Week

UTILITY Week 17th February 2017

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

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18 | 17TH - 23RD FEBRUARY 2017 | UTILITY WEEK Operations & Assets Utility Week Stars, 23 June 2017 T he UK's utility companies deliver essential services to 65 million people every day. Together, they are responsi- ble for nearly 60 per cent of the £500 billion National Infrastructure Plan – a pipeline of projects set out by government in 2016 that are considered vital to the future prosperity of the nation. Yet UK utilities carry this burden of responsibility in a climate that is challenging – even hostile at times. Companies must keep up with rapid technological change and the evolution of regulatory and market structures they have known for decades, and combat stubbornly negative public perceptions of the sector – especially in relation to energy retail. But that is not all. Utilities must also square up to these challenges and turn them into opportunities even though the sector is facing potentially debilitating skills gaps. With a large proportion of today's work- force set to retire within a decade, utilities collectively need to recruit around 221,000 people by 2027 simply to maintain current levels of service and infrastructure renewal. Any ambition to deliver growth will require an even bigger intake. This recruitment wall would be difficult to climb at any time, but it is a particularly challenging prospect given that UK unem- ployment is now standing at its lowest level for 11 years. It's this prospect that recently led Utility Week and a group of 27 utilities employers to back the creation of the sector's first work- force and skills strategy. It's also an outlook which make the Util- ity Week Stars Awards, now in their fourth year, a more important opportunity than ever to celebrate the talent and dedication of valued employees. With categories for teams and individuals spanning disciplines from data science and innovation to community engagement and health and safety, the Stars Awards offer a unique opportunity for companies to honour the people who do essential jobs. The number of entries to the awards is gathering pace. Nick Ellins, chief executive of Energy & Utility Skills and a regular Stars Awards judge, says: "There has never been a more appropriate time to recognise the talent and dedication of those people who bring excellence to your business and give your customers the service levels and experience they seek." Fellow judge Denise Massey, managing director of the Energy Innovation Centre, adds: "People are at the forefront and centre of our collective ambition to deliver wide- ranging transformation. It's only through dedication, ideas, teamwork and service that we will make the change happen." The Stars Awards prize-giving ceremony is in Manchester on 23 June and will gather senior sector representatives alongside front- line and back-office staff to celebrate the industry's leading lights. Put forward your colleagues and employees now and give them the chance to be recognised among their peers. The deadline for entry is 3 March. The recognition you deserve The Utility Week Stars Awards are an opportunity to honour the unsung heroes of the utilities sector – the frontline staff who deliver the essential services we all rely on. Deadline for entry 3 March For further information, visit: www.utilityweekstars.co.uk Guiding Stars The Utility Week Stars Awards are dedicated to recognising those who rarely get to stand in the spotlight. However, there's no denying that the industry's leaders play a critical role in shaping the levels of morale, commitment and progression that teams and individuals in the workforce display. So this year we will also recognise the sector's leading lights for investing in skills, promoting diversity and empowering employees. To nominate the most passionate and proactive Guiding Stars, Utility Week has partnered with Energy & Utility Skills. Together, we will select a group of Guiding Stars from the boards of utility companies to join us at the Stars Awards ceremony in Manchester. We are looking for leaders who clearly demonstrate: • passion for the utilities sector • commitment to improving the sector's reputation and attractiveness to talent • sustained involvement in mentoring activities and professional development of others • accessibility and openness to all employees • an ability to lead by example.

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