Ten things you didn’t know about Prospect’s work in energy


Ten things you didn’t know about Prospect’s work in energy

Dai Hudd, Prospect deputy general secretary, talks about the union’s work in the energy sector.

wind turbine engineers

Who does Prospect represent in the energy sector?

A variety of grades and disciplines, which include engineers, managers and other professionals such as distribution engineers, control engineers, asset management engineers, SAPs, wayleave officers, training managers and procurement.

How many members do we represent in energy?

Just over 14,000.

What are the top three issues we are facing in energy?

Uncertainty in the energy markets due to a lack of long term policies. This uncertainty is exacerbated by the as yet uncertain impact of Brexit negotiations.

A continuous pressure to reduce costs, this at a time when skills are in short supply.

Finally, a rising level of issues related to wellbeing and stress in the workplace.

Is Prospect doing any specific campaigning in energy right now?

We have begun the process of reviewing our energy policy, beginning with an all-members survey. Once that work is completed, we will embark upon a programme of lobbying and campaigning on that policy.

This will begin with a Parliamentary event at the end of November. We responded to the regulator seeking to influence the regulation by Ofgem to take into account the health and safety of the workforce, skills and development issues. This we did recently via our submission on the RIIO-2 price control framework.

What does Prospect think are likely to be the big issues in energy over the next five years?

Recruitment and training to replace 25% of the current workforce who are expected to retire within the next 5-10 years.

The rapid development and introduction of new technology will require new skills and work practices. In particular the rapidly increasing contribution of renewable energy sources.

The impact this is having, and will continue to have, on the future delivery of electricity through potentially new and differing configurations of the ‘Grid’, continued political uncertainty and the management of change all under tight regulation of costs, safety and environment.


This, as I mentioned previously, is all compounded by issues arising from Brexit uncertainty.

Who are some of the big companies who negotiate with us?

All of the main power generating and distribution energy companies. This would include companies such as EDF Energy, National Grid, ScottishPower, EA Technology, National Grid, Western Power Distribution, Scottish Southern Electric and Northern Powergrid.

Are most of our members in energy permanent employees or freelance/contactors?

A mix between those covered by collective bargaining and those on individual (or personal) contracts

How do we support our members in energy?

Through collective bargaining, individual representation, by influencing training and health and safety. This on both company and national level bodies, for example, the National Skills Academy Power (NSAP) and the National Health and Safety Advisory Committee (HESAC) for Energy Networks.

What’s a recent success we’ve had supporting a member, or members, in energy?

Too many to cover. There are a multiple employers with varying terms and conditions (including pay) arrangements. Prospect has a strong track record in delivering outcomes that compare very favourably with similar industries.

Why should someone working in energy join Prospect?

We have a very good understanding and grasp of the issues effecting the industry. We are a well-respected stakeholder with employers, governments and the regulators. Our political neutrality and independence is highly valued and respected.

We provide excellent support and personal representation through a wide network of reps allied to our influence on safety, training and energy policy.

More so than ever, anyone in authority making decisions can be exposed to levels of scrutiny that are ever increasing in this sector. Prospect does not flinch from providing support for members who find themselves in this unfortunate position. No union in the industry can match our commitment to individual support.