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Wales

In total, 29,800 people are employed within the the energy and utility workforce in Wales, representing 6% of the sector’s UK workforce; half of which is concentrated in the South East region.

In terms of gender make up 24% of the energy and utilities workforce in Wales is female, which is the same proportion as that found across the sector as a whole. 98% of all employees in Wales are classified as White; however, some slight regional variations are noted.

The age profile of the energy and utilities workforce is very similar to that of Wales as a whole, although there is a high proportion of the gas (upstream) workforce aged 16-24 in the South East Wales region.

Overall, the occupational structure of the energy and utilities sector workforce is not too dissimilar to that of the UK as a whole, albeit there are proportionately fewer managers and professionals employed in Wales.

Key facts for the power industry:

  • Over the past 20 years the power industry workforce in Wales has decreased by 35%. The occupations which have been most affected by these reductions are secretarial (Level 2 & 3), Skilled Technical (Level 3) and elementary (Level 1 and below).
  • The occupations which have been least affected by these reductions (indeed, employee numbers increased over the period) are corporate managers (Level 5) and customer services and sales (Level 2).
  • 19% of the power industry workforce is female. Females make up 67% of the workforce within the administrative and secretarial occupations, but just 11% of professionals and 24% of both managers and associate professionals.
  • The age profile of Welsh power industry workforce is similar to the whole the energy and utility workforce; although there is a slight under-representation of 16-24 year-olds.

Key facts of the gas industry:

  • The upstream gas workforce has reduced by 75% over the last 20 years. The occupations most affected have been secretarial (Level 2 and 3), skilled technical (Level 3), plant and machine operatives (Level 2) and elementary (Level 1 and below).
  • The upstream gas workforce is younger than the Welsh average.
  • The downstream gas workforce in Wales is somewhat older than the national average, with an over-representation of employees in all age groups over the age of 35 years old.
  • 25% of the upstream gas industry’s workforce is female (2% below the industry’s UK average).
  • Females dominate administrative and secretarial (58%) roles. There are reasonable proportions of females employed in both associate professional (45%) and managerial (32%) roles.

Key facts of the waste management industry:

  • Due to the changing nature of how waste is being processed and finally disposed, there are significant differences between how employment levels in recycling and waste disposal activities have changed:
    • Recycling – The recycling workforce has increased by 249% over the past two decades.
    • Waste Disposal – Employment levels in waste collection, treatment and disposal have increased by 111%.
  • In both sub-sectors of waste management, the occupations which have been most affected by these increases are: corporate managers (Level 5); science professionals (Level 4); science associate professionals (Level 3); and sales and customer service (Level 2).
  • The Welsh waste management workforce is older than the national average, with significant under-representation of 16-24 year-olds.
  • 18% of the waste management industry’s workforce is female (1% below the industry’s UK average). There are particular concentrations of females in administrative and secretarial (74%) and they make up just 20% of managers and professionals.

Key facts of the water industry:

  • The water industry’s workforce has reduced by 17% since 1986. The occupations which have been most affected by these reductions are admin and secretarial (Level 2 and 3), skilled technical (Level 3), plant and machine operatives (Level 2) and elementary (Level 1 and below).
  • The Welsh water industry workforce is skewed towards the older age groups (particularly 35-54 year-olds).
  • 20% of the water industry’s workforce is female (6% below the industry’s UK average). In the water industry, less than 10% of associate professionals are female, as are just 14% of associate professionals and 18% of managers.

The waste industry in Wales has the highest proportion of the workforce with no qualifications. This contrasts with the gas, power and water industries, which are significantly less likely to have no qualifications and more likely to have high level skills.

North Wales and South West Wales are the sub-regions most likely to have arranged off-the-job training in the last 12 months (80% and 85.1% respectively) while Mid-Wales and South East Wales are the least likely (with 37.5% and 58.8% respectively).

The energy and utilities sector in Wales is more likely to provide training to managers and skilled trade occupations than the all industry average in Wales. By contrast, Wales is more likely to provide training to process, plant and machine operatives than establishments in England.

The most dominant reason for establishments in Wales not to provide off-the-job training to staff was because organisations believed staff had sufficient skills to do their job (92.9%). This was followed by “other training method preferred” (71.4%),“trained staff will be poached by other employers” (50%), and no suitable training provision available (35.7%)

Source: Energy & Utility Skills Sector Skills Agreement Stage 1 2006, Future Skills Wales 2005 and Energy & Utility Skills Sector Skills Agreement Stages 1-3 Final Report 2007 – Wales