JE in drive to a more inclusive and diverse workforce
As a member of the UK’s Energy and Utilities Skills Partnership, Jersey Electricity has joined a growing band of companies to sign up to the Partnership’s Inclusion Commitment to ensure the Energy and Utilities sector workforce is inclusive and diverse.
The EU Skill Partnership recognised in its Workforce Renewal Skills Strategy: 2020 that its current workforce fails to fully represent the 65 million customers it serves every day. It found that 83% of the sector’s workforce is male, compared with 47% for all sectors nationally. Women, people with disabilities, the BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) community and under 24s are all under-represented in the energy and utility sector compared with national averages.
To tackle this, and to build a resilient workforce for the post-Brexit economy, 32 leading employers have committed to drive change and work collaboratively to attract more diverse talent to the sector which employs around 566,000 people across the UK and will need over 220,000 new recruits in the next 10 years.
The commitment challenges energy and utility companies to act and think differently and to connect with underrepresented groups, attracting new talent and ideas into the sector. It is underpinned by five principles that commit to working collaboratively and sharing best practice, while creating an inclusive culture.
Jersey Electricity already has five employees who have completed the INSEAD Gender Diversity programme to help promote diversity in the workplace and establish inclusive people practices to attract a richer pool of talent. It is now developing its Diversity and Inclusion strategy to complement activities aimed at making JE an employer of choice.
The Company currently employs over 320 people - 80% of whom are male – and it expects to lose 40% of its workforce through retirement in the next 15 years. HR Director Andrew Welsby said: ‘Though we have a proud 95-year history we are constantly looking forward and seeking to better ourselves. We have a special place in the community and huge responsibility to our customers and that requires not only a highly skilled and committed workforce but also employees who reflect and can empathise with the community they serve.
‘We therefore aim to be an employer of choice in Jersey, where employees are engaged, supported and developed by being respected, included and heard. I am convinced that inclusion and diversity lead to better ideas sharing, debate and decision making. The Inclusion Commitment provides an opportunity to share best practice, collaborate and build on our existing diversity and inclusion approaches.’