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Energy and Utility Skills Sector Skills Council

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps the Energy and Utility Sector Skills Council is taking to ensure that the UK has an adequate supply of people with the skills needed for the energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors. (202630)

Energy and Utility Skills (E&U Skills) is one of several Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) which have a particular interest in the supply of skills needed for energy efficiency and renewable energy. E&U Skills is taking a number of steps which will help ensure that the skills needed in these areas are met.

In common with all SSCs, E&U Skills has developed a Sector Skills Agreement (SSA) which identifies the sector's current and future skills needs. The SSA, which is UK wide, provides a clear platform for education and skills agencies and providers to work with the sector on helping meet those needs. Following on from the SSA, E&U Skills, working with leading employers, are considering the case for a possible national skills academy for environmental industries, with initial discussions focussing on waste management and water. E&U Skills has also brokered the setting up of an employer-led Power Sector Skills Strategy Group, chaired by a senior manager from EOF Energy. Through these initiatives, EU Skills is engaging and consulting with its sector on developing arrangements that will lead to the renewable energy agenda being addressed throughout these industries.

On energy usage, E&U Skills is taking steps such as working with the Health and Safety Executive to ensure that the re-licensing of the gas registrar (currently CORGI) takes account of all the skills needs of gas installers. It is anticipated that the new registrar will be announced in the next few months.