The process will conclude in March 2019 and emerged from the Department for the Economy’s Apprenticeship Strategy in Northern Ireland, which a wide range of employers, contributed to including NIE Networks.
Raymond McMenemy, Technical Training Manager at NIE Networks said: “NIE Networks is delighted to support this review of frameworks within the utility sector in Northern Ireland. This is a fantastic opportunity to review the skills and knowledge required by our future apprentice intakes, ensuring they meet our business needs. It is also an opportunity to share best practice within the wider utility sector.”
Ronnie Moore, Client Manager at Energy & Utility Skills, which received the commission, said: “As responsibility for skills is devolved – the whole UK apprenticeship landscape has been complicated by the introduction of ‘Trailblazer’ apprenticeships in England and the moving away from the National Occupational Standards (NOS), which used to apply across the whole of the UK and provide consistency.”
Mr. Moore, a former training and development manager at NIE, added: “Multi-national companies operating across borders are likely to have to manage increasingly different apprenticeship programmes as well as wider workforce training specifications and requirements.”
This recognition of apprenticeships as a vital supply line to address the skills gaps and shortages across the gas, power, water and waste management industries is consistent with the calls made by leading sector employers in the Workforce Renewal & Skills Strategy, which predicts there will be a shortage of 221,000 workers by 2027 across the sector, which accounts for 56% of the National Infrastructure Pipeline and underpins the UK economy. It also highlights a lack of suitably skilled labour, as shown in the prevalence of sector vacancies that are proving hard-to-fill by employers.
Submissions to the review can be made to Ronnie.Moore@euskills.co.uk or Joanne.Moore@euskills.co.uk.