Power Industry to Award Bright Sparks

18 May 2017

Power Industry to Award Bright Sparks & Light Up St George’s, 15 June 
• The People in Power Awards will focus on the talent needed to help close the skills gap identified by the Workforce Renewal & Skills Strategy.
• Nominations have been received from across the power sector and the finalists have been announced.
• The National Skills Academy for Power Conference will centre on the Skills Strategy’s three priorities.

The UK power industry is preparing for one of the biggest events in its calendar, the National Skills Academy for Power (NSAP 2017) Awards. The nominees have been announced and the winners will be revealed on Thursday 15 June 2017 at the Hilton at St. George's Park, Burton on Trent, DE13 9PD.

Hosted by comedian Rory Bremner, the Awards will celebrate the achievements of the leading lights in the power industry across eight categories. The finalists are:
• Power Graduate of the Year (sponsored by Northern Powergrid): Matthew Jones and Sophie Russell, Scottish Power Energy Networks, and Navdeep-Singh Kahlon, Cadent
• Power Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by SSE): Zoe Finch, E.ON and Aimee Mowat, National Grid
• Power Safety Person of the Year (sponsored by Electricity North West): Richard McCullogh and Mike Bracey, both of Morrison Utility Services
• Power Team of the Year (sponsored by UK Power Networks): Resourcing, Scottish Power and Retail Technical Training Team, SSE
• Training Provider of the Year (sponsored by Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service): UK Power Networks and SSE
• Diversity & Inclusion Initiative (sponsored by Scottish Power): Inclusion of females, SSE and #Awkward: viral video series, E.ON
• Utility of the Year (sponsored by National Grid): UK Power Networks and Energy & Utility Skills
• Achievement in Supply Chain Excellence (sponsored by the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership): Phil Lucock, National Grid and Velina Drakalieva, UK Power Networks

The People in Power Awards aim to highlight, celebrate and inform others of the breadth of talent that exists within the Power Sector. They are organised by NSAP and judged by a panel of industry experts from SP Energy Networks, Siemens, SSE and National Grid.

“We are amazed at the high level of skill and enthusiasm we see each year at the Awards,” said Nicki Hussain, Head of NSAP. “It is encouraging to see the breadth of talent in the industry. The continual push for the development and investment in skills is key to the future of both the power industry and the UK economy.”

The Awards ceremony will be preceded on the same day at St George’s by NSAP’s “Many Skills One Vision” Conference.

The Conference agenda will focus on how the power industry is addressing the Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy’s three priorities. The Conference will include:

• A demonstration of SSE’s project on Valuing Human Capital, which is working to increase sector attraction and encouraging recruitment.
• Discussions on the apprenticeship levy and engaging with colleges, which will explore how the Skills Strategy’s call to maximise investment in skills is being tackled.
• Government and consumer perspectives on Smart Metering, which will show how the power industry is taking the targeted action the Strategy recommends.

The Skills Strategy was published in February 2017 and was the first-ever coherent strategic plan for the continued delivery of essential power, gas, clean water, waste removal, environmental protection and recycling services to 65 million people every day across Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland. The sector accounts for 56% of the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan and requires a skilled, competent and sustainable workforce.

The Skills Strategy found that 221,000 vacancies will be created across the energy and utilities sector during the next decade. These vacancies will be made up of 100,000 existing employees who will retire, 90,000 who will move to jobs outside the sector, and another 31,000 that will be required to fill newly-created roles.

Compared to gas, waste and water sectors, the power industry has the oldest average workforce: over 20% of its 72,000 employees are aged 55 years or over. Only 22% of its employees are female and only 5% are from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds. Therefore urgent action is needed to address the power industry’s skills demand.

Nicki Hussain added: “We are looking forward to another excellent NSAP Conference and People in Power Awards ceremony. We will be examining how we can put the Skills Strategy into action. It will be a chance to celebrate the current successes in the power industry as we work together to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

The Skills Strategy was developed by the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership, a collective of leading sector employers that is working to secure the continual seamless delivery of the wider sector’s services across the UK.

Book your tickets to the conference and awards.