Nuclear sector continues to grow in the UK
With 2016’s approval of Hinkley Point C, nuclear has become big on the national agenda. The Government are hailing the £18bn plant in Somerset as a “new era of UK nuclear power”.
The benefits of Hinkely can already been seen with the project creating jobs and boosting skills with currently over 1000 workers on site. It doesn’t stop there as thousands more workers will be required for the project, it is believed that some 25,000 construction jobs alone will be created.
With the current skills shortage, it seems that demand may be exceeding supply in the engineering skills market, so nuclear will have to ensure they attract the best talent to support its exciting period of growth.
To keep up with the demand in this skills shortage, nuclear may also have to compete with other sectors for workers with specialist skills. Engineers with experience of working in other sectors, for example Ministry of Defence projects or within the utilities sector, possess transferable skills that would make them more than suitable for nuclear projects.
At Highfield we also believe that the promotion of STEM related subjects at schools will help tackle the skills shortage for the long term. There are many different routes into the nuclear sector such as, apprenticeships and degrees, but it is ensuring that the engineers of the future are aware of the possibilities within the industry.
Matt Hamill, Senior Recruitment Consultant at Highfield, explained, “Nuclear is a growing market, with an ever growing workforce. As the sector grows we are going to have to be resourceful in how to attract candidates and look at bringing in more candidates from overseas.”
With 2017 bringing the start of large, exciting projects, accompanied by investment into the nuclear sector there will plenty of opportunities for engineers of all levels to take. With the sector’s predicted growth however, the industry must work together to promote the projects and career opportunities available to ensure nuclear has the skills required for the future.