Ground-breaking industry partnership to tackle skills gaps

The ILP’s Lighting Live event in February saw the announcement of a ground-breaking Memorandum of Understanding between the Institution, the Lighting Industry Association (LIA) and the Highway Electrical Association (HEA).

The three organisations, ILP Chief Executive Justin Blades explained, will now and into the future work together on reimagining and reshaping future pathways into the industry.

The special Lighting Live event brought together public sector, local government and private sector lighting professionals to consider a range of pressures and challenges affecting lighting, especially local government lighting.

The event at the Mercure Daventry Court Hotel in Northamptonshire followed on from the similar ILP event held there in 2023. But, where that was very much focused on how to respond to that winter’s energy crisis, this year’s gathering was more focused on considering the wider pressures and challenges facing local authority lighting professionals.

The one-day event was sponsored by Urbis Schréder and saw some 22 manufacturers both supporting the ILP and showcasing their products to members.

Key speakers included Chris Dodd of purchasing organisation ESPO, who provided advice on how street lighting teams can understand, and better navigate, fluctuating energy markets.

Coventry City Council’s Shamala Evans-Gadgil outlined how her authority is addressing EV charging rollouts, with Coventry now overseeing the second largest on-street EV charging network in the UK.

East Riding of Yorkshire’s Karl Rourke provided a one-year update on the innovative work the council, with a range of partners, is doing around reimagining, and decarbonising, highway lighting.

Doncaster City Council’s Craig Morris outlined his authority’s approach to asset management and safe column deployment, while Richard Newing of Leicestershire County Council discussed the pressures – and opportunities – around departing from the lighting standards.

The event then closed with the panel discussion on future pathways into lighting and how the industry needs to tackle its knowledge and skills gap, where ILP Chief Executive Justin Blades unveiled the MoU.

‘It is for us to share best practice, for us to support each other’s initiatives, while still recognising that there are things that we are best suited to take the lead on in various areas. You will hear more on this in due course, through Lighting Journal and other communications that we put out,’ he added.

You will be able to read more about the MoU and the Lighting Live event in the March edition of Lighting Journal.

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