Transforming the energy sector with future skilling

Energy Networks Australia discussed new thinking about jobs and careers in the 21st century at yesterday’s industry leadership forum.

Industry leaders focused on big picture issues in recruiting and retaining workers while dealing with the challenges of an ageing workforce and competing for the best talent.

Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon said with the energy sector transforming rapidly, it was imperative it developed a more agile workforce and network businesses were responding to the challenge.

“Energy networks are managing rapid change and they need the best of both worlds in their staff – people who have the core technical capabilities but who are also innovative and progressive thinkers,” he said.

“Network businesses are embracing new technologies and this means different skill sets are required as we work to develop a hydrogen industry in Australia, support the commercial rollout of electric vehicles and the integration of increasing amounts of solar and storage into the grid.

“While the current workforce can and will be retained, there will also be new training requirements and different skill sets required of new recruits.”

Energy Networks Australia general manager of network transformation Dr Stuart Johnston is one of three industry leaders who sat on the panel.

He is also the Chair of the Electricity Supply Industry Transmission, Distribution and Rail Traction Reference Committee which is responsible for the network industries National Training Package.

“Almost every industry is dealing with the impacts of transformation and what it means for their businesses and current and future workforce requirements, but this is particularly true for the energy sector,” he said.

“It’s an honour to be representing the energy sector in these important national discussions as government and business look to future proof and future skill Australia’s economy with access to a flexible and high-quality workforce with the relevant capabilities.”

The 2018 Industry Skills Forums is hosted by the Australian Industry Standards.