39. We do not advocate the creation of a
National Academy or Sector Skills Council in the Renewable Electricity
Sector. Instead, we recommend that Sector Skills Councils, including
the Energy and Utility Skills Council, Construction Skills and
the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing
Technologies, establish a cross council steering body to address
skills deficits within the industry. (Paragraph 234)
Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) have a central role
in assessing the future skills needs of their sectors, through
their Sector Skills Agreements and Sector Qualifications Strategies.
The renewable electricity generation sector and its supply chain
cuts across the footprints of a number of SSCs plus the engineering
construction sector, with its statutory training board, the ECITB.
It will be important to ensure that the solution developed brings
these together with relevant National Skills Academies, key employers
and other bodies, to deliver a coordinated approach.
This Autumn Government will convene a high level
forum on low carbon skills. The forum will be tasked with establishing
a Strategic Advisory Panel to align the skills system behind the
challenges and opportunities arising from the transition to a
low carbon economy, in line with the recommendations from the
Windsor consultation. The Panel's remit will be to find ways to
draw cutting edge business practice into the skills system so
as to deliver a rapid supply-side response without weakening SSC
leadership or employer engagement.
Energy sector skills are based on highly-transferable
core competencies, for example in mechanical, electrical and project
management disciplines. Thus the UK Continental Shelf was developed
largely by skilled people from heavy engineering, shipbuilding,
nuclear etc. Most of those employed in the wind energy industry
today were trained in mainstream energy or manufacturing. The
SSCs are expected to address these issues in their forthcoming
report on energy sector skills.
KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER PARTNERSHIPS
40. We recommend that a flagship Knowledge
Transfer Partnership programme be established in the area of new
and renewable energy systems.(Paragraph 236)
The Technology Strategy Board will double the number
of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships in the next three years and
its Governing Board has agreed that an increased focus will be
given to those priority areas highlighted in the Technology Strategy
Board's recently published strategy.
This includes energy generation and supply and will be achieved
through increased marketing and promotion rather than a separate
ring fenced budget.
In addition, the Technology Strategy Board will encourage
the flow of people and ideas to stimulate more innovative approaches
to energy technologies by working with the Research Councils to
provide businesses with access to academic expertise.
1 Available at www.berr.gov.uk/consultations/page 46797.html Back
for a Sustainable Future'-Windsor Consultation report (June 2008) Back