Energy workforce not ready for transition: EY
Survey results published June 7 by Ernst & Young find the energy sector is on its backfoot when it comes to finding employees with the necessary skills to facilitate the energy transition.
Cyntressa Dickey, EY’s global and Americans energy people advisory services leader, said the energy transition requires new skill sets that will become more and more critical as technologies evolve.
“The number of disruptive threats continues to rise, the number of nontraditional competitors continues to grow, and technology is developing at the most rapid pace in history,” she said. “Digital adoption and investment without an accompanying skilled workforce will not result in the desired benefits or return.”
EY’s survey of 159 power and utility executives across the globe found 90% of the respondents said there were too few workers with the necessary skill set to work on the transition.
Another 60% of those surveyed said their existing workforce will require new training, but with an estimated 7.5 months in average education time at a cost of $4,650, the gap might not be readily closed.
“Further complicating the challenge is that executives don't necessarily know where skill gaps exist and are experiencing issues with workforce retention,” EY’s report read. “One-third said they cannot measure the gap between the skills they have and what they need.”
Energy transition strategies run the gamut from utilising natural gas and liquified natural gas as a bridge to a cleaner future, to nascent technologies such as hydrogen as an energy source.
EY found that nine of the 10 executives it surveyed said they would be changing the energy mix at their companies. More than half, meanwhile, said the energy transition would be among the more profound changes at the companies they lead.
Survey respondents came from utility companies across the renewables, electric and natural gas spectrums. The survey was conducted between January 13 and February 8.