Could engineers soon demand footballer-level salaries?

Industry News
13 June 2016 | Industry News | thomas thomas

Gas, water and electricity workers could demand Premier League-level salaries soon if the skills shortage in the utilities sector isn't dealt with by the government and employers as a matter of urgency.

The warning comes from Develop Training Limited (DTL), the UK’s leading accredited provider of compliance, technical and safety training in the utility sector.

Chris Wood, CEO, said, “Most people will be unaware of a looming catastrophe, one that threatens to literally turn Britain's lights out. The chronic skills shortage in the utilities, energy and construction industries means companies are fishing from the same small pool of talent, which is inevitably pushing up salaries.

"If the skills shortage isn’t tackled head on, those few who do have the skills and experience will become more and more valuable, as companies struggle to maintain the level of service consumers are currently receiving, and we’ll eventually see wage inflation to unsustainable levels, maybe even rivalling Premiership footballers."

The warning is equally ominous for business leaders and consumers alike, with rising wage bills set to be passed on to the consumer via a hike in service prices.

Since the start of the year, DTL has been hosting a series of industry round table events to share best practice, generate ideas and tangible action plans to tackle the crisis. The events have been well received, with representatives from Balfour Beatty, Skanska UK, Siemens, tRIIO, SGN, City & Guilds, Energy & Utility Skills, Servelec Controls and Mentor Training Solutions among those taking an active role in discussions.

Chris Wood said, “We desperately need to attract and train young people to take the places of the ageing workforce in these vital industries. If we can turn this situation around, we can have confidence that the lights will stay on, our heating will continue to warm our houses, and our taps will continue to provide running water. Otherwise, the day is fast approaching when there will simply not be enough workers available to perform these vital jobs. We are already seeing wage inflation as employers compete for a dwindling workforce, and that trend will continue until there is an upturn in the number of new recruits.

Develop Training Limited (DTL) is the UK’s leading accredited provider of compliance, technical, and safety training, supporting thousands of firms with their training needs. Clients include some of the UK’s largest and best-known organisations from the utilities and construction to the defence, healthcare, facilities management and telecommunications sectors.

Training programmes cover water and environmental, gas and energy, safety, electrical and mechanical, apprenticeships and management development delivered at DTL’s seven dedicated training centres in Linlithgow near Edinburgh, Romford, Croydon, York, Derby, Bolton and Swindon or onsite at clients’ premises. DTL also provides bespoke and consultancy services, tailoring training programmes and initiatives to the requirements of individual clients.

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