Article: Energy sector lacks sustainability-skilled talent

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Energy sector lacks sustainability-skilled talent

Why do sustainable skills matter in the industrial world? How is the energy sector coping? What needs to be done to acquire sustainable-skilled talent?
Energy sector lacks sustainability-skilled talent

The corporate sector, especially energy industry, lacks talents that can perform their roles in a sustainable manner. This is the only way the industries; and also the world, can survive. While the developed world is just waking up to this reality, the industries in the rest of the world have not yet understood the full need to fill this gap, barring a few major industrial houses. It is absolutely essential that this component is added to the skill sets of the talent being employed everywhere in the industrial world.

The industrial economic model that has been current until now is environmentally not sustainable and is mainly responsible for climate change and associated hazards. It has been estimated that collectively, human population is already consuming 1.5 times the natural resources that can be replenished annually. Just as concerning, the income inequality gap continues to widen, further threatening social cohesion.

The awareness is coming to the developed world that there is an imperative need for the corporate sector to anticipate, plan for and help alleviate the negative environmental trends. This is not a social responsibility for the corporate sector; rather, it’s their absolute need for survival in a sustainable society.

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Need for talent to be skilled in sustainability

In order for the businesses to flourish in this new global phenomenon, current and future leaders will have to train themselves and other talent in their organizations in a large number of new skills and competencies.

Stephanie Rogers, Managing Director within Accenture’s Resources Operating Group identifies the changing talent requirements in the oil and gas industry and the challenges companies are facing in both identifying and retaining high-quality talent.

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Research findings suggest that sustainability leaders need a wide-ranging and divergent mix of behavioral competencies to be effective. Where leaders have more developed competencies, they shall be able to meet the new emerging problems with greater efficiencies than others.

Leading companies will have to redesign their talent management systems to answer to the needs of the new efficiency levels, essential to make their organizations perform well in future. They will devise the list of important skills they need to safeguard the wellbeing of their organizations in future.

Launched in May 2015, Tata Power's Be Green initiative follows the mantra that green is the only way to evolve and has set new benchmarks by caring for the planet and its future. Tata Power aims to utilize customer touch points such as social media, emailers, CRCs, bills etc., to promote and create awareness, thus creating a collaborative and participative environment. On an average, over 40,000 people are reached each month through messaging under 'Be Green', across touch points - Tata Power Annual Report, 2016-2017

Skill gaps for the sustainable future business model

Many experts feel that there is a lacuna in the existing skill set of the business leaders as well as the talent force in terms of an understanding of expertise in sustainability and efficiency in this direction in the industrial work environmental context. Much has been debated about this competency and efficiency lacuna; there is a void in the field of expert knowledge storehouse about how to address this challenge through organizational competency models. 

Following are two charts to show this – 

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Fig 1: Source – Global CEOs Outlook – Energy Perspective, A 3 Year Outlook, KPMG Global Energy Institute, 2015 (Projections for 2015-2018).

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Fig 2: Source – Global CEOs Outlook – Energy Perspective, A 3 Year Outlook, KPMG Global Energy Institute, 2015 (Projections for 2015-2018).

Much more critical is the fact that many company leaders across the world are not even aware that this very important and imperative skill gap exists in their organizations. KPMG conducted a survey of global CEOs on many aspects of awareness of energy in the context of talent skills in their organizations. The results show that many CEOs were not aware that their workforce needed to be trained in sustainable business skill sets.

In India, although the government is taking an initiative to offload the energy requirements onto renewable sectors, the efforts by the corporate sector are very little to follow suit. A lot needs to be done by Indian businesses to meet the challenge to transform into a sustainable energy-using economy.

Topics: Jobs, Talent Management, Training & Development, Skilling

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A “one size fits all” approach to learning and development does not work and puts business performance and innovation at risk. Organizations are transmuting to adapt and oblige to evolving changes and demands that exhibit in every business function. But there is a significant disconnect between the supply and demand of skills at the workplace.

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