Skip navigation

Gloucestershire Business News

‘Invest in electrical skills essential for net zero’

The Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) is calling on the next government to prioritise investment in electrical skills.

As electrification plays a pivotal role in the nation's decarbonisation strategy, the demand for a skilled electrical workforce is becoming increasingly urgent. From heat pumps and solar panels to electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the future economy will heavily depend on competent, qualified electricians to install and maintain low-carbon technologies.

But the industry faces a significant shortfall in skilled electricians. Despite over 20,000 aspiring electricians enrolling in classroom-based electrical courses annually, less than 10% advance to apprenticeships.

This gap leaves the majority without a clear path to industry entry, undermining the workforce's expansion, just when it is most needed.

Jane Dawson, head of public affairs at ECA, said: "ECA Members are feeling the impact of a flawed skills system daily. The disconnect between education and industry results in inefficiencies that hinder our progress towards net zero.

"We need to ensure that aspiring electricians have clear, supported pathways into the profession, which means creating more apprenticeship opportunities and fostering stronger partnerships between educational institutions and industry.

"The future of our economy and our ability to meet climate targets hinge on a skilled electrical workforce. It is imperative that the next government recognises this and acts decisively."

To address this urgent issue, a coalition of industry leaders, including Green Alliance, Energy Networks Association, RenewableUK, Joint Industry Board, EAL and BESA, have endorsed the trade association's charter to #RechargeElectricalSkills.

Introduced in November last year, the charter provides a comprehensive framework for future electrical skills development, aiming to build a robust, skilled workforce for the net zero transition.

Key pillars of the charter:

• Placing qualified electricians at the heart of net zero - ensuring qualified electricians are central to the deployment and maintenance of low-carbon technologies.

• Increasing the number of qualified electricians - Expanding educational and training opportunities to boost the number of certified professionals in the field.

• Establishing a stronger skills pipeline and support into employment - Creating a seamless transition from education to employment through enhanced apprenticeship programmes and stronger industry ties.

As the general election campaign intensifies, apprenticeships and skills have emerged as a key battleground issue.

The electrical industry coalition urges the next government to support these initiatives and invest in the infrastructure needed for a skilled electrical workforce. It said this investment isn't just critical for achieving net zero targets, but also for ensuring a sustainable, resilient economy in the future.

Related Articles

Students celebrate Eco-Schools achievements Image

Students celebrate Eco-Schools achievements

Children from seven Forest of Dean schools attended a celebration event to mark achieving Eco-Schools’ Green Flag status.

Skills, Apprenticeships & Careers: The latest vacancies and opportunities across Gloucestershire Image

Skills, Apprenticeships & Careers: The latest vacancies and opportunities across Gloucestershire

Whether you are looking for a new role, an apprenticeship or a first job, Punchline is here to help.

King's Speech Children's Wellbeing Bill announcement welcomed Image

King's Speech Children's Wellbeing Bill announcement welcomed

The British Nutrition Foundation welcomed the inclusion of the Children’s Wellbeing Bill in the King’s Speech yesterday.

Reform ‘will help address severe skills crisis’  Image

Reform ‘will help address severe skills crisis’

The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) has welcomed the King’s Speech announcement on skills.

Copyright 2024 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.