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Breaking Ground: New training film paves the way to a perfect safety record 

Every day over 65 million customers and citizens in the UK rely on the energy and utilities sector’s workforce to deliver the essential services that underpin our everyday lives: water, gas, power and waste for our homes and businesses.

CITB funding supports intention to have a perfect safety record.

Breaking Ground is the latest edition to Energy & Utility Skills ‘Highways the Right Way’ suite of effective and high quality training films that aim to improve the awareness, safety and skills of the workforce across the energy and utilities sector.  The film is part of a larger project that received £60,000 from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) as part of its Flexible and Structured Fund.

The chair of the Utility Contractors Group, Glen Tymon of Morrison Utility Services, said: “Breaking Ground has been produced in partnership with the members of the Utility Contractors Group who identified the need for new training resources, to ensure that the skills and knowledge of the workforce remains high.  

“The production of this engaging, bite-sized training resource, backed by utility contractors, will help to reinforce the key safety messages and protocols needed to address the issues that the industry and our workforce face daily.”

A common industry standard improves mobility for highway operatives across the sector.

The Utility Contractors Group have identified four key areas of impact of the funding has bought to the development of the suite of training films.

  • Collaboration – the training films have been developed through close collaboration with industry experts, including representatives of Utility Contractors Group businesses, and co-promoted by CITB and the Energy & Utility Skills Group.
  • Innovation – succinct films supporting a blended learning approach.  A flexible safety refresher training resource that removes the need for staff to be away from the workplace for long periods of time and reduces the costs associated with formal classroom based training courses.
  • Embedding health and safety awareness – an engaging training resource that is backed by utility contractors which helps to reinforce the key safety messages and protocols needed to address the issues that all utility companies and their workforce face daily.
  • Setting a common Standard – utility contractors have collaborated to set a common industry endorsed standard that aligns with the principles set out in the New Roads and Street Works Act (NRSWA).  This new approach is helping to remove barriers to skills mobility across the sector with employees now being aware that the required performance criteria in relation to health and safety is the same whichever contractor they choose to work with.

Glen Tymon of Morrison Utility Services comments on how they are using the Highways the Right Way training films to improve the safety of operatives working on the highway: “We’ve already started by using them at induction programmes when we take new employees on. We’ve also started to use them as part of our general street works training events. A number of companies I’ve been speaking to use them already use them as part as part of overall briefings and stand-down days, or just as part of a general refresher”.


“Over the next 9 years, there will be heavy investment in infrastructure where levels of investment will return to those levels seen before the 2008 recession. With growth in construction returning across the country (2.5% growth per year) and nearly 221,000 vacancies expected to be created by 2025, the demand for energy and utilities sector workers is high and skills shortages are emerging.

Nick Ellins, chief executive of Energy and Utility Skills