Talent management for the utilities industry is facing a twin assault from a fast retiring workforce and fewer aspirants who wish to join it. You may say that this is a universal issue not confined to utilities alone; but the utilities industry is particularly vulnerable. .
Demand for electricity, natural gas, water and sewer continues to grow. Seventy percent of transmission systems are more than 25 year old, and need to be updated. This may seem to create new employment opportunities, but not so fast! Other factors come into play. Infrastructure upgrades are accompanied by increased costs in raw materials, construction and labor. In these regulated sectors, increased costs cannot always be offset by price increases, resulting in increased pressure to restrict permanent hiring.
‘Smart Grid’ electricity initiatives and similar technology-driven programs in support of other utilities require highly technical skills. Utilities must compete with other industries vying for recent graduates with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees. Unfortunately, STEM candidates often choose careers in industries that are less labor-intensive or higher-paying.
Competence in this industry requires the right degree and years of extensive on-the-job experience. The average age of U.S. utility workers is 50, with an estimated 40% leaving the workforce by the end of 2015. Of even greater concern is the fact that 60% of the supervisors are over 50 years of age! Who will be available to provide the needed mentoring and oversight?
Check out the infographic to learn more.
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