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Water UK Human Resources Think Tank Developing the UK Water Industry Workforce. Thursday 5th June Hammonds, London. David Hellier Water Business Manager. Background to GWINTO. April 1998 GINTO started July 1998 GINTO was recognised as an NTO July 1999 GINTO became incorporated

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water uk human resources think tank developing the uk water industry workforce

Water UK Human Resources Think Tank Developing the UK Water Industry Workforce

Thursday 5th June



background to gwinto
Background to GWINTO
  • April 1998GINTO started
  • July 1998GINTO wasrecognised as an NTO
  • July 1999 GINTO became incorporated
  • Feb 2000Labour Market Investigation presented to members
  • Feb 2000Established Gas Industry Skills Task to develop strategy for gas industry
  • Nov 2000 Awarded Investors in People
  • Jan 2001 Took over GD registration scheme from CITB
  • June 2001 Merged with BETWI
  • Oct 2001 Water Business manager Appointed
  • Jan 2002 Skills Strategy for WI published
  • May 2002 Water Industry Skills Steering Groups established
  • Sept 2002 Functional Occupational Map of WI completed
  • May 2003 WI labour Intelligence & forecasting commences
  • Sept 2003 New Sector Skills Council for Utility Industries Established
new sector skills councils footprint
New Sector Skills Councils - Footprint

Industry Sector












Business Market

Generation & Processing

Asset Ownership & Management,






Supply ( Domestic, Industrial & Commercial)

Metering & Measurement

Service Installation & Utilisation

59 Million Consumers Nationally

gwinto our purpose
GWINTO – Our Purpose

Delivering the means of developing workforce skills for the gas and water industries.

This will enable employers to realise the full potential of their employees to drive business performance which will lead to improved competitiveness of the sector and, in turn, will be essential for national well–being


Identification of industry/sector needs:

  • Workforce development planning
  • Gathering Labour Market Intelligence
  • Mapping occupations and job functions
  • Repeating the cycle as frequently as necessary


  • From analysis of research:
  • Define and set occupational standards
  • Develop appropriate framework of qualifications
  • Engage with employers
  • Support development of suitable training infrastructure
  • Developing modern & graduate apprenticeships,
  • All approved by awarding and assessment bodies
  • Develop new routeways to sustainable employment


  • Manage pilot projects using new qualifications to deliver new recruits:
  • Training courses through independent training organisations
  • Investigate and test new delivery methods e.g. e-learning
  • Non-traditional routes – welfare to work programmes
  • Facilitate creation of project management capability


The Skills Development Process


Creating Skills and Careers in the Water Industry

Forming Key Delivery Partnerships – “Routes to Work”


Eg.AWG, Severn




  • Funding
  • Resources
  • Knowledge
  • Information


Services /












investing in the future
Investing in the future

“He who stops being better, stops being good”

Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England 1653-58

investing in the future1
Investing in the future
  • Investment in assets is a long term investment
  • Investment in skills is a long term investment
  • A complex Water Industry
    • Different business models
    • Water Companies and suppliers are now more inter-dependent.
    • Water Industry Workforce development more complex
    • Impact of PR04
investing in the future2
Investing in the future

Organisational Changes identified in the UK Water Sector

  • Major downsizing
  • Move to multi-utility organisations
  • Labour mobility between utilities
  • More alliances and joint ventures
  • Reduction in number of bases
  • Greater levels of subcontracting
  • Strategic shift in risk management
  • Flatter corporate hierarchies
  • Multi-skilling at managerial levels
  • More contract management-less line management
  • Greater use of partnering in contractual arrangements
  • Move to lower or average age of sector
  • Impact of equal opportunities on balance of the workforce
  • More likely to lose key workers
  • Need to manage greater levels of complexity

…..excluding the implications developments in IT!

investing in the future skills
Investing in the future (Skills)
  • Small firms – Investment in skills is more likely to be ad–hoc
  • SME’s – Gain fewer benefits for the investment
  • SME constraints to skill investment
    • 30% due to finance
    • 30% due to availability
    • 30% due to Culture
  • Large Organisations – Good structures, greater benefits identified
  • Systemic approach now required across whole industry
is there a skills issue
Is there a Skills Issue?

Shortage of Technical Skills

  • new technology
  • instrument technicians
  • Engineers, experienced & graduate
  • process control and management
  • leakage management – 140 leakage technicians alone required in the Thames Area this year
  • main & service laying
  • Also
  • Customer Service
  • Team working
  • Management / leadership (all UK Industry)
  • Source UK skills survey 2001 / BETWI Labour Demand Forecast

= Skills gap

key demand for the water industry macro level
Key Demand for the Water Industry – Macro level

Net requirement to 2010 = 10,000 new entrants

  • 4,400 administrative occupations
  • 1,500 skilled metal and electrical trades
  • 1,300 elementary trade, plant and storage related occupations
  • 1,200 science and technology professionals
  • 950 secretarial and related occupations
  • 900 business and public service associate professionals.

Source – Public Utility Skills Dialogue

key demand for the water industry micro level
Key Demand for the Water Industry – Micro level

Impact of PRO4 – Identified Key Issues to be considered

  • Water main Rehabilitation
  • Leakage
  • Flooding
pr04 water main rehabilitation
PR04 Water main rehabilitation
  • DWI estimate 25,000km of mains
    • 5,000 per annum
  • Also 2,270,985lead communication pipes to be replaced by 2013
  • Additional gas demand of 97,000 km mains replacement over 30 years
    • 3,000 per annum
  • Plus major investment programme in rail industry
  • Known Skills Shortages in gas contracting.
pr04 water main rehabilitation1
PR04 Water main rehabilitation
  • 437 extra gangs required to match gas demand
  • Projected increase in costs of over 15% due to supply / demand imbalance
  • 728 extra gangs required to match water demand
  • Projected increase in costs of over 20% due to total supply / demand imbalance.
  • Potential cost increase of over £200 million
  • Plus increase in supervisory and support staff.
leakage resources
Leakage resources

Water Company Employed

  • 33% of companies have a current need for leakage employees – A 11% increase is required
  • 33% of companies have a future need for leakage employees - A 6% increase is required.
  • 51% of employees are qualified to an acceptable standard
  • 16% have qualifications that require development
  • 35% have no relevant qualifications
leakage resources1
Leakage resources

Leakage Contractors

  • 43% of companies have a current need for leakage employees - An increase of 10% is required
  • 43% of companies anticipate a future need for leakage employees - An increase of 4% is required
  • 37% of employees are qualified to an acceptable standard
  • 13% have qualifications that require development
  • 50% have no relevant qualifications

36% of companies are facing recruitment difficulties for leakage technicians.

national picture
National Picture
  • 2 million individuals due to leave the UK workforce in the next 10 years
  • 1 million more professional jobs created

Source Employers skills survey 2001

  • Plus additional
  • Investment In Rail
  • Investment in Gas
impact of skills gap on performance equals
Impact of Skills gap on performance equals
  • Difficulties in meeting customer service objectives
  • Delays in developing new products & service
  • Increased operating costs
  • Problems in meeting quality standards / hygiene
  • Loss of business to competitors
current workforce development initiatives
Current Workforce Development Initiatives
  • Research – labour market information
  • Network Construction Workforce Development Forum – 17th June 2003
  • Leakage Recruitment – Ambition Energy
  • Development of MA Frameworks
  • Quantify demand and scope of Foundation Degrees & Graduate Apprenticeships
  • Review scope of existing national and company qualifications.
  • Development of Water Network Construction qualifications within a Multi Utility framework.
context of current initiatives
Context of Current Initiatives
  • Skills Development within a framework that embraces
    • Productivity
    • Employability
    • Mobility
    • Competitiveness
  • Demand led training
  • Innovation in training programmes
  • Innovation in Candidate selection
  • Innovation in Employment terms and conditions
  • Ambition Energy
    • Initiative developed by government to train the long term unemployed. - Drawing on earlier work by GWINTO
    • Partnership between employers and the new Job Centre Plus.
    • Bill Alexander Chief Executive of Thames Water is a member of the national steering group
    • GWINTO has developed training programmes for the training of Gas installers and Gas Network Operatives plus a developing programme for Gas MeteringTechniciansWith over 1,100 People into Training –63% Into jobs!
    • Pilot programme involving Thames Water with their major contractors (Subterra, Morrisons, Clancy Docwra and Biwater) to develop recruit and train leakage technicians
  • Ambition Energy
    • Up to 80% of the cost of training from the Ambition Energy budget.
    • In liaison with Job Centre Plus, GWINTO will provide project management / consultancy to support the training programme.
    • Job Centre Plus will arrange open days where the opportunities can be explained to potential candidates
    • Job Centre Plus nominates potential candidates for further selection.
    • GWINTO, the training provider ( in this case Thames Water), & Job Centre Plus run open days for candidates.
    • Selection process that comprises tests of literacy, numeracy and manual dexterity. The candidates’ individual motivation is assessed by interview.
  • Ambition Energy
    • A shortlist is then drawn up. (Long term retention in employment in excess of 80% as opposed to average of 40% for other New Deal type programmes.)
    • The training programme involves three element
      • technical training,
      • life skills
      • mentoring support.
      • based on a mixture of college and work-based learning and is supported by project managers.
  • On successful completion the candidate will be awarded NVQ level 2 in Leakage Control.
  • At the end of the programme the candidate will enter employment as identified at the beginning of the programme.
  • yal Engineers

“Water Quality is not negotiable”

Elliot Morley

Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Fisheries, Water and Nature Protection)

Economist Conference Oct 16th 2002


If the water industry was to face similar scrutiny to the rail industry, could it demonstrate sufficient experience, knowledge and competency.

i.e. how many job roles at junior / senior managerial level require evidence of competency

proof of competence
Proof of Competence
  • In gaining academic qualifications how does this capability prove occupational competence?
  • Qualifications are not proof of competency unless qualification assesses knowledge and experience.
business planning
Business Planning
  • How many business plans equate business objectives to business competencies?
  • How many business plans identify the returns skills can contribute?
  • How is evaluation measured against business plan ?
  • How many companies include the proof of skills and development from their suppliers?
  • Do we measure leadership skills with the same diligence as technical skills?
opportunities for gwinto support
Opportunities for GWINTO support
  • Assess sector needs within the growing national skills gap
  • Liaison with Government to support their commitment to the raising of skills
  • Using demand forecasting to access funding.
  • Take action to address skill needs
  • Leadership to be open and receptive to competency development
  • Strong engagement with company strategy
  • Systemic approach across the supply chain for workforce development inc. Govt and regulatory bodies.
  • A more competent UK Water industry workforce will provide a greater overseas competitive advantage.
david hellier water business manager david hellier@gwinto co uk
David Hellier

Water Business Manager


Thank you for listening