World Survey | UK

A pound of flesh

23 July 2010

A 2010 survey of nuclear industry salaries reveals that many employees rank support and recognition in the workplace as high as salary and benefits. By Emma-Jayne Gooch, recruitment manager at energy headhunter McKenzie Douglas

While most senior managers and directors believe themselves to be adequately rewarded in monetary terms, many feel largely unappreciated for the hard work and dedication they bring to the organisation. One senior manager told us: “Compared to a lot of people in the UK we are well paid. However, I’d like some more recognition of the contribution my work makes to the overall business goals of the company. It’s important to know our work makes a difference.”

Is money is the most important thing in a job? Many senior staff confided that support and recognition were of greater importance than the overall basic salary and benefits packages they were offered. Our findings tally with the theories of US occupational psychologist Frederick Herzberg, a contemporary of Abraham Maslow, who identified the five key motivators for people at work: achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility and opportunities for advancement.

The survey of 30 major positions in the UK nuclear industry covered from three to eight salary ratings on each position. Over the survey period (January-March 2010), GBP1=EUR1.13=USD1.56=JPY142 according to currency conversion site

Where the jobs will be

A report from UK government skills body Cogent has developed a scenario of employment should a total of 12 new nuclear power stations be built by 2025. It estimates that an average of 10,000 jobs per year would be required. The peak demand would be from 2019-2021, in which seven units would be under construction at the same time.

The report, Next Generation: Skills for New-Build Nuclear, concludes: "The demand for skills in each sector requires careful planning due to the significant volume of people required across a range of skills and occupations. This will be compounded by nuclear awareness and safety training requirements associated with working under a regulated nuclear site licence from the outset of construction...In the opinion of the expert panel convened for this report, the projected levels of demand will not only risk the supply of critical skills for capability, but will also emphasize the demand for skills capacity through new blood drawn from all levels of the education and training supply, as well as transitioning expertise from sectors with oversupply."

Capacity issues identified are: shortage of demand information, workforce mobility, supply of apprentices, scientists and engineers, age profile of existing workforce, long induction periods, and competing demand for experienced people. Capability issues identified are nuclear awareness, behaviour and culture, and suitable qualification and experience.

At the time of writing, the most at-risk skills are project management, safety case authoring, high-integrity welding, control and instrumentation, planners and estimators, geotechnical engineering, non-destructive engineering, manufacturing engineering, design engineering, and regulation.

FilesSalary survey

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