Britain’s nuclear sector generates 6,000 jobs a year

The UK’s nuclear workforce is expected to grow from 88,000 to more than 100,000 in 2021 as a result of the nation’s nuclear new build programme (Nuclear Skills Strategy Group). More than 6,800 full-time jobs are expected to be created across the UK nuclear sector every year until 2021 and over the next decade, it is predicted that the Hinkley project alone could create 25,000 jobs.

Aside from the work required of such a mega project, the demand for engineering talent in particular, is also increased by an ageing workforce - a fifth of the job opportunities that are expected to open each year will be created as a result of people leaving the sector. 

Ben Hough, Department Manager – Nuclear, Matchtech explains what this means for engineers in the nuclear sector:

“In addition to Hinkley Point C, there are a number of nuclear job opportunities across the UK which are involved in the Decommissioning and Defence sectors, as well as ongoing operations and maintenance roles with the existing fleet of nuclear power stations. Whilst the skills shortages cause difficulties for employers recruiting in the sector, the upswing in jobs is a positive for engineers.”

“The heightened demand for engineers in the sector will increase competition and could result in higher or more attractive financial rewards for engineers with the right skills to stay or join a new company. Another plus point is that it will open up opportunities for engineers who do not have nuclear expertise to upskill and gain nuclear qualifications. Bodies such as the National Skills Academy are already working with a number of organisations to help create bespoke nuclear courses.”

For more on this story, visit Power Engineering International.

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