What intelligence can do for the water-utility sector

February 13, 2019

Tackling the water industry’s skill shortage

April 18, 2019

UK Water Sector Outperforming Main European Counterparts

In a major report from December 2018, new research from leading water industry experts, Global Water Intelligence, found that UK water companies are outperforming comparable water sectors in Europe.

This research has been ongoing for the past 28 years and is based on the examination of water and waste water utilities in six main European countries on six key performance indicators. Commissioned by Water UK, over 220 sources were examined on water compliance, waste water treatment quality, customer service, non-revenue water, charge to customers and the cost to run the service per person.

Some key findings highlighted in the report included that the UK water sector has been outperforming those in France, Ireland, Italy and Spain in terms of measures on water and sewerage since 1990. The report also highlighted that the UK water sector is either the top performer or the most improved in five out of the six performance indicators.

Watertrain, the predominant provider of high-quality technical training and qualification programmes to the UK water sector, believes that one of the main reasons that UK water companies are outperforming their European counterparts is their dedication to ensuring employees are effectively trained and hold the correct knowledge and competence to run water operations efficiently.

There are a range of qualification programmes available to the UK water sector, including levy-funded apprenticeships designed by Trailblazer groups to effectively meet employer and industry needs. A selection of water companies, including Northumbrian Water Group, are now also putting key personnel through innovative training such as intelligence programmes that offer parity with analysts working at the highest levels of military intelligence operations.

To continue this progression, Watertrain explains that identifying and addressing any skill-gaps is highly important. With 2020-2025 business plans announced last year, the UK water sector looks set to remain the top performer, but without the right skill-set across an organisation achieving these demanding plans could become an issue.

Neil Davies, a Director of Watertrain, comments on the importance of upskilling staff:


“Our clients are using the new Level 3 apprenticeship standard to develop the knowledge and skills of their operational teams. This programme has been developed with employers to ensure it meets their needs into the future to improve the competency of teams and therefore the efficiency of their business”


Watertrain has been the leading provider of apprenticeships and other qualifications to the water utility sector since 2007. The company defines its role as helping employers find effective solutions to immediate training needs and longer term staff development – whether through knowledge and/or competency qualifications or bespoke training interventions.

You can contact Watertrain on 03330 431431 or info@watertrain.co.uk.