Perth-based SSE has today warned of an emerging skills shortage in the energy supply industry – at the start of National Apprenticeship Week (9 to 13 March 2015).
The company – one of Britain’s ‘Big- Six’ – says more than 200,000 people will need to be recruited to plug the gap as around half of the industry’s workforce is due to retire by 2023.
John Stewart, SSE Director, said: “Apprenticeships put young people on track for a first rate career and with around 50% of the sector’s workforce set to retire by 2023, there is a need to invest now.
“We’re boosting our apprentice numbers by 20%, investing £11.68m – an average of £80,000 per trainee – to recruit and train the workforce of the future. What’s more, apprenticeship programmes work for the country as well as young people and business.
“Research we’ve carried out with PwC tells us for every £1 we spend on our apprenticeship programme the net economic impact on society is £4.29. Our apprenticeship programme is open now and we’d urge young people to consider a career in the energy industry and invest in their own future.”
Every year since 2007 over 100 new apprentices have joined SSE’s apprenticeship programme. They help maintain 205,000km of power lines, work in wind farms, hydro stations and thermal plants, and help maintain commercial and domestic electrical systems.
SSE offers apprenticeship programmes lasting three to four years in nine different areas ranging from contracting (electrical, mechanical and heating and vent) Power Distribution (overhead lines, fitting and jointing), Generation (electrical, Mechanical and C and I) and home services (gas engineers).