- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 05 Dec 2023
Electrical sector skills recharge at the House of Commons, as skills shortage bites
 ECA recharges electrical skills at the House of Commons long-awaited Parliamentary event
Held in the House of Commons in Westminster, Recharging Electrical Skills was a landmark meeting with Members, skills providers and MPs, aimed at increasing awareness about the significance of the electrical contracting sector and electrical skills in achieving the UK's net zero goals.
Key themes from the event included:
- Placing skilled electricians at the core of net zero.
- The need for more apprentice starts and qualified electricians.
- Improved support for job placements a more robust skills pipeline.
Alan Whitehead MP, Shadow Energy Minister, said: “Labour’s mission to make Britain a clean energy superpower will create and sustain good jobs across the country. Electricians will be absolutely crucial for delivering many of the low-carbon technologies that will form the backbone of our future green economy.
As part of the event, we also launched the 'Future Electrical Skills' Framework, setting out the ECA’s recommendations to bridge the electrician skills gap, accelerate the adoption of low carbon technologies, and ensure high-quality and safe installation and integration of electrical systems.
View the full Charter here.
Electrical contracting businesses will play a pivotal role in the transition to a net-zero economy by ensuring the safe, efficient, and sustainable use of electrotechnical systems, including those central to net zero. But workforce capacity and competence must be prioritised if we are to achieve our net-zero goals.
Shortages of qualified electricians and other competent personnel are currently the number one business issue for ECA Members (as revealed each quarter by the ECA/ BESA Building Engineering Business Survey). These shortages do not necessarily result from a lack of people wanting to join the industry, but more so from a broken skills pipeline which currently prevents enough people from progressing to complete their training.
 Electrical sector feels skills shortage bite
The latest quarterly survey of the UK engineering services sector, backed by leading trade bodies ECA, BESA, SELECT and SNIPEF, reveals that electrotechnical businesses are being significantly impacted by skills and labour shortages. Meanwhile, most business owners in the sector continue to grapple with high prices and slow payment times.
Almost a third of respondents (30%) said their business’ turnover had dropped since Q2 – a marked increase since the last survey, covering Q1 and Q2, when just 1 in 5 respondents (19%) said their turnover had fallen since the start of the year. A fifth (21%) expect their turnover to fall again between now and the end of the year.
Of the respondents who currently have vacancies in their business, trouble filling those vacancies was blamed on pay expectations being too high (57%), applicants lacking sufficient skills (46%) and an insufficient number of applicants (41%).
When it comes to being paid on time, almost two thirds (57%) of respondents said that commercial clients and main contractors took 31 to 60 days to pay for work. Over 1 in 10 (21%) said they took 61 to 90 days – a drop of 50% since the last survey, indicating some improvement.
Payment times appear to have slowed in the public sector, with more than half (51%) of respondents saying public sector clients took 31 to 60 days to pay for work, and a tenth (9%) saying they took 61 to 90 days.
This article appears on the ECA news and blog site as "ECA Recharges Electrical Skills at the House of Commons" and "Electrical sector feels skills shortage bite" dated November 29, 2023.
- Apprenticeships levy.
- Cabinet office payment rules within the procurement act welcomed.
- Call for support in green electrical apprentice shortfall.
- Construction Industry Training Board CITB.
- ECA helps Welsh Government consultation on Net Zero Skills..
- ECA Project Net Zero roadshow..
- Electrical skills shortage in Eastern England.
- Engineering services industry grapples with rising demand and skills shortage.
- Impact of labour shortages worsen for engineering services.
- National Infrastructure Plan for Skills.
- Net Zero not possible without right skills..
- Order books fill but skills shortages worry contractors.
- Protection for apprenticeships.
- Put electricians at the heart of the clean energy transition, says ECA.
- Skilled workforce unable to meet net zero ambitions.
- Skills shortage.
- Skills shortage and Brexit.
Featured articles and news
Dealing with draughts and reducing heat loss.
Managing Partner at Onyx and third gen project manager.
Expectation types, management and performance gaps.
Appointments, re-appointments and six changes a year.
New ways to manage the housing crisis.
Consortium seeks signatories for open letter by February 29.
Meaning, understanding and implementation.
Kick-start attempts causes 50% jump from December.
From climate to cost to cold bridges and design flexibility.
In a changing world at the APM PM SIG conference.
The glass product that opened up new possibilities.
Campaigning for buildings of all periods.
Full life cycle assessments, impact categories and more.
Get to know the new requirements and the new terms.
Reporting on Payment Practices and Performance Regs.
The ultimate companion for building services excellence.