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Water companies back workforce renewal and skills strategy

Water companies have backed a new strategy to bring in 221,000 new recruits by 2027 in the utilities sector to help ensure customers will continue to get the essential service they need in the future.

Utilities industry leaders have come together, as the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, to build and launch the first ever joint Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy for the sector.

The Strategy has been created to take the first steps towards ensuring that the UK’s vital utilities sector retains a safe, skilled, resilient and sustainable workforce. It sets out for the first time, in one place, the reality of the challenges faced, immediate initiatives that are underway and the ambitions the Skills Partnership shares in moving towards achieving a more sustainable future.

This Strategy sets its immediate focus to 2020, and then will continue to evolve as the Skills Partnership and the wider industry works with our key stakeholders, interest groups and other sectors to deliver an extensive programme of change and cooperation.

Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of Water UK, said: “The water sector, like others, needs continuously to improve to meet our customers’ expectations for providing water services safely, affordably and responsibly.

“It is therefore essential that we upskill our current people and attract the very best young talent for the future, and the Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy is a powerful initiative to help us do that.”

The Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership has already started to take action – including a commitment from 20 utility-based businesses to a new 12-month pilot programme that seeks to encourage people into industry careers and develop a significant future sector talent pool. The Talent Source Network aims to help employers access hard-to-reach and diverse individuals as well as encourage professionals who are looking for new opportunities or to retrain. Service leavers and those with transferable skills from adjacent sectors such as oil and gas will find the utility environment a natural home and are already a target audience of the pilot programme.

To find out more, visit

Strategy document


  1. Apprentice, Vera Oliveira
  2. Adam Shaw, Tactical Support Manager started on the apprenticeship programme
  3. Dan Statham, Network Technician


Water UK Communications
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