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Sector skills insights: Energy

This report considers the current situation of the energy and utilities sector in the UK, the challenges it faces over the medium term and the implications for skills. The intention is to provide a summary of the extent to which the performance challenges faced by the sector can be addressed through skills development and thereby bring about growth and contribute to the recovery of the UK economy. A strong energy sector provides the products and services that are essential to modern living. An efficient sector underpins a productive and sustainable economy. A diverse sector is strategically vital for the UK to improve its balance of trade and reduce its dependency on overseas energy sources. The energy sector is at the forefront of the development of a low carbon economy. The energy and utilities sector consists of three main areas of business activity, which have shown quite different development trajectories in recent years: Mining and oil and gas extraction: which employs more than 100,000 people, although numbers declined in mining, quarrying and oil extraction during the 2000s. Recycling/Materials recovery: a growing sub-sector, which developed from contractor services for local authority run waste collection, and employed 23,000 people in 2010. Electricity and other utilities: this subsector is dominated by large scale regulated providers for electricity, gas and water utilities, employing almost 200,000 people in 2010.