Future skills for the civil nuclear roadmap to 2050
It’s a welcome message for stakeholders and suppliers across the industry, who are aware that the nuclear workforce faces challenges such as workers heading into retirement, and under representation of women and diverse cultures.
The current construction of Hinkley Point C, the financial investment pledged to bring Sizewell C to life and the continued investment in Small Modular Reactor (SMR) and Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) technology, however, provides a great opportunity to recruit more people in the nuclear power sector.
Creating future work opportunities
In the Government’s report, they coin this need to increase jobs in the nuclear sector as ‘the nuclear workforce of tomorrow’. Recognising the significant skills challenge the sector currently faces and the need to create a ‘nuclear skills pipeline’ to meet projected sector growth.
Key priorities include an increase in people entering the workforce and developing future leaders. As well as enhancing the diversity of the UK nuclear workforce, in particular in lower socio-economic areas.
Evidence of this skills development is reported on EDF’s Hinkley Point C, will offers 30,000 new training placements across the construction build and have hired an impressive 1,131 apprentices to date since work began on site. In part this has been achieved with the introduction of welding, electrical and mechanical training centres, to upskill workers and create centres of excellence. Delivering long-lasting skills to help people forge rewarding careers in the nuclear sector.
Recent analysis by the Nuclear Skills Strategy Group (NSSG) reports around 83,000 people working in the defence and civil nuclear sectors. To bring the roadmap to life, this is expected to rise to around 150-180,000 people by 2043 according to data modelling. When you consider that 10% of the workforce are aged 60 or over, retirement planning identifies a further need to recruit more people into the sector.
Creating a diverse future workforce
A traditionally male dominated sector, NSSG estimate that only 21.4% of the nuclear workforce are women. With the industry committing to reaching 40% by 2030, it will need to be another significant focus area for organisations up and down the nuclear supply chain. Suggestions include plans to attract mid-career applicants with transferable skills into the sector, increasing the number of apprentices and providing sponsorships and bursary schemes for STEM subjects. As well as mentorships to transfer technical knowledge and promoting nuclear careers through regional hubs.
The future advances of power generation such as SMR and AMR technology, provides a great opportunity to recruit a more diverse workforce, as the historic stigma of nuclear power generation starts to change.
Recruiting inclusively to facilitate business growth
Here at NRL we’re passionate about building diverse workforces and quashing stereotypes such as nuclear and engineering roles being just for men. We recognise the many benefits to businesses when they recruit inclusively and the career opportunities it affords women across the UK when organisations are more open to prioritising transferable skills and cultural fit when recruiting.
That’s why we’re proud to how the Association of Professional Staffing Companies’ (APSCo) Inclusive+ Recruiter certification, having invested in significant training to empower our recruiters to think and recruit inclusively, whilst supporting our clients to develop diverse recruitment strategies.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how your organisation can recruit more diversely, then get in touch,