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The public utilities sector incorporates a number of provisions that homes and businesses require, including professions that work in water, waste management, electricity and gas. These industries make up a major part of the UK’s energy and utility sector, employing around 536,200 people (National Careers Service) and provide thousands of homes and businesses with safe and affordable power, heating and water. There are hundreds of jobs available in the sector in a wide range of occupations, showcasing a variety of industrial skills.
Public utilities are in constant demand, with people requiring efficient electricity sources, gas systems and water supplies at all times. In fact, some parts of the industry have been growing, with the development of new and effective renewable power sources and an increase in the awareness of energy conservation. Companies in the public utilities sector are increasingly trying to improve their services, and so need skilled, hard-working staff to connect with their customers.
Public utilities workers also find themselves linked with the building services sector, as they are responsible for linking up new buildings with gas, electric, water and drainage systems. Public utilities are needed in homes and small buildings, as well as in large industrial projects. The main areas of public utilities can be split into the following areas:
The industry includes some major national and international employers, such as British Gas, BP, Thames Water, Swalec, EDF Energy and other big names. This sector of the energy and utilities industry focuses on the supply, installation and maintenance of these utilities to the public.
This job path is suited to people who have a combination of good practical skills and an interest and knowledge in power and utilities. Most of the job positions within this area involve dealing with customers first hand, so good communication skills are a must. The work can be physically intense, with a lot of working in uncomfortable places or outdoors. Generally, vocational qualifications and apprenticeships are the natural route of entry into the industry, but all companies will have different training schemes and entry requirements.