The Energy Institute has called for a boost to the UK’s science and engineering skills base to deal with the roll-out of new energy baseload and transmission infrastructure over the coming decades.
Responding to OFGEM’s recent report on energy security, published last week, the Energy Institute (EI) has emphasised the importance of scientific and engineering skills to secure the UK’s future energy.
OFGEM had suggested that market reforms and up to £200bn of investment was needed to maintain energy supplies, lower costs to consumers and reach climate change targets.
However, EI President and Chairman of Shell UK, James Smith, said: “A major rebuild of Britain’s energy system will need large numbers of people with science and engineering skills to get the job done.
“This spells opportunity for rewarding careers and job satisfaction. It also means we have to close the skills gap fast,” he said.
“Closing the science and engineering skills gap is a big job for government, industry, schools and universities. The skills needed are diverse so apprenticeships for craft skills matter every bit as much as degrees in design engineering.
“There are great careers for men and for women and we will need to tap into all this talent to secure the UK’s future energy,” he said.
Research was conducted in 2006 by the EI in partnership with Deloitte and Norman Broadband.
- A steadily decreasing pool of new entrants to the energy market
- An accompanying decline in the scientific, engineering and technical (SET) skills of these new entrants
- Increasing competition from other industries for these shortage skills
- Decreasing numbers of Science Engineering and Technology (SET) graduates choosing to enter a SET career
- Rapid strides towards large scale retirement year on year
- Lack of experienced hires for key roles in an expanding industry.
Conversely, a 2007 report by MORI found very high (84%) job satisfaction in the energy sector.