Lanes Group wins Procurement Skills Accord hat-trick

Water utilities and drainage specialist has been held up as an exemplar as it has won a Procurement Skills Accord.

It is the third year in a row that Lanes has achieved the training and skills development accolade, presented by the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership.

The company was one of 14 tier one utility contractors successful in achieving Accord status out of the 24 that applied.

Lanes Learning and Development Specialist James Brewer said: “We’re delighted that our efforts and commitment to developing workforce skills not just in Lanes, but throughout our supply chain has been recognised.

“Our success is based, I believe, on clear and smart thinking about training and skills development and a lot of hard work by operational and HR teams to embed best practice across our business and through our procurement process.”

The Procurement Skills Accord (PSA) is a national initiative that encourages increased investment in targeted training and skills across the energy and utilities supply chain.

It outlines five robust and challenging commitments that require signatory companies to ensure that responsible procurement practices are used to drive investment in skills.

Lanes Utilities, the wastewater network services maintenance partner for Thames Water, underwent an audit of its training and skills programme, carried out by a panel of independent expert judges.

Criteria includes initiatives to address sector-wide skills gaps, procedures in place to meet current and future staffing resources, and demonstration of continuous improvement in skills development.

The Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership judges were impressed with Lanes’ proactive approach to recruitment by liaising with other employers making redundancies to offer interviews to staff losing their jobs.

They said Lanes’ continuous improvement plan, which includes the use of videos to upskill and communicate with their teams, represented best practice and should be shared across the utilities industry.

Lanes was awarded with the Skills Accord at a virtual ceremony hosted by Phil Beach CBE, CEO of Energy & Utility Skills.

In total, 56 companies of all types applied for a Procurement Skills Accords and 43 were awarded.

It is forecast that 221,000 skilled jobs will need to be filled across the energy and utility industries by 2027, with 100,000 people set to retire by then, 90,000 people moving to new jobs and 31,000 new jobs created.

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