The graying of the utility. The great brain drain. The aging workforce crisis. Attach whatever snappy headline you want to it, recent studies show that the electric utility industries facing a severe shortfall in workers as their current employees near retirement.
The US Department of energy reported in 2006 that anywhere from 11 percent to 50 percent of line workers are expected to retire in the next five to 10 years. (The numbers vary from company to company, hence the wide margin.) The DOE noted that the demand for line workers could outpace the potential supply of line workers by as much 20 percent. The DOE also found that universities are not graduating a great enough number of engineers to counter the retirement of electric power and transmission engineers.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers has found in its studies that by 2010, one-third of utility workers will be 50 or older, and that by 2013, 43 percent of the utility workforce will be eligible for retirement.
Also, according to human resources consultancy the Hay Group, 40 percent of shit supervisor will be eligible for retirement by 2009. The group also found that more than two-third of the utility companies they surveyed do not have a succession plan in place for supervisors. And 44 percent have no succession plan for vice president.
That’s potentially bad news for the utility industry, but good news for anyone seeking a job in utilities in the near future. The electric utility industry needs new employees at all levels.
According to Human Resource Personnel at Idaho Power and MidAmerican Energy, they are working with several of their departments to hire entry-level staff when workers retire. In the past, a more experienced person would be sought. They offer more training to help new entrants assimilate to their new positions. In addition, they are working with several four-year and two-year colleges, high schools and, in a limited way, also with middle schools to encourage young people to think about energy as a career. Whether they graduate from college with a four year degree or from community college with a technical qualification, they cab offer them an exciting and rewarding career with their industry. They offer a number of intern positions each summer within their service territory, including engineers. They have found the intern program particularly successful as means of future hiring. They also offer co-op programs through the year. They aring to develop curriculum which will encourage technical positions as well as future engineers. So, the focus is typically on se working with middles schools and high schools to showcase both industry and their companies and, in some cases, helpcience and math and also IT.
(Source: PennEnergy Jobs)