Skilled workers in sector crucial for built environment and net zero, body says

The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) has called on the next government to prioritise investment in electrical skills to achieve the UK’s net-zero goals.  

The organisation said demand for a skilled electrical workforce was “becoming increasingly urgent” as part of the country’s decarbonisation strategy.


Source: Shutterstock

Growing use of PVs and heat pumps will require more skilled electricians, the ECA has said

While more than 20,000 people enrol in classroom-based electrical courses annually, fewer than 10% advance to apprenticeships. 

The ECA said this gap was undermining the workforce’s expansion at a time it was needed for rising installation and maintenance of heat pumps, solar panels and electrical vehicle charging infrastructure. 

“ECA members are feeling the impact of a flawed skills system daily,” said its head of public affairs Jane Dawson.  

“The disconnect between education and industry results in inefficiencies that hinder our progress towards net-zero.  

“We need to ensure that aspiring electricians have clear, supported pathways into the profession, which means creating more apprenticeship opportunities and fostering stronger partnerships between educational institutions and industry.”  

>> Read more: How can we tackle the skills crisis? The next generation reports 

The ECA’s charter to recharge electrical skills, introduced last November, has been endorsed by a coalition of industry bodies, including Green Alliance, Energy Networks Association, RenewableUK, Joint Industry Board, EAL, and BESA.