A Solihull-based “talent bank” initiative offering jobless youngsters an alternative to life on the dole has been thrown a crucial £3.5 million lifeline.
Energy & Utility Skills (EU Skills), was granted an injection of new funding following a rigorous assessment process by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.
EU Skills was selected as part of the Employer Investment Fund (EIF) operated by the commission to receive £3.5 million worth of skills investment for the energy and utilities sector.
The Commission received 109 proposals into the fund totalling over £119 million. Commissioners chose 63 of the best solutions with the greatest potential to drive growth and employer investment in skills.
An ageing workforce, combined with the significant increases in infrastructure renewal and expansion needed to achieve a ‘green’, low carbon future means that the sector will have to recruit an estimated 94,000 new recruits over the next five years, including replacing more than one in three workers who will retire or leave the power industry and the gas and water industries.
Tim Balcon, chief executive for EU Skills, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the energy and utility sector; we have been awarded this funding as part of our wider remit to tackle the skills issues that are faced by the energy and utilities footprint.
“By collaborating together as a sector we can deliver real results to benefit employers and society as a whole.”