Nuclear workforce resilient to challenges posed by COVID-19

12 January 2021

Sixty per cent of those working in the nuclear industry feel confident their business is resilient to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest Global Energy Talent Index (GETI). Only one-in-ten disagree.

The report was produced by global workforce solutions provider Airswift and Energy Jobline, a leading jobsite for the energy and engineering industries. It is based on a survey of 16,000 energy professionals and hiring managers in 166 countries, and covers the oil and gas, renewables, power, nuclear and petrochemicals sectors.

“There is no denying that this has been a challenging year for the energy industry, and COVID-19-related instability is certainly being felt by the workforce,” said Janette Marx, chief executive officer at Airswift. But she notes that nuclear is a “relatively stable sector and that is giving its workforce cause for optimism.”

For example, while the recruitment and employment trends survey found that the percentage of nuclear professionals reporting pay increases has dropped steeply from 54% in the 2020 report to 37% in 2021, only 13% of those surveyed reported a salary decrease – the smallest proportion of any sector.

Furthermore, around half of professionals and 60% hiring managers were found to be optimistic of a pay increase next year, with nearly a quarter of professionals expecting to see an increase of more than 5%.

Seventy-seven per cent of professionals surveyed said they would consider relocating to another region for their job, with career progression opportunities (28%) and lifestyle and low cost of living (23%) the key factors attracting talent to a region. The overall figure is the same as in the 2020 report.

Seventy-seven per cent of respondents said they would consider switching to a role in a different sector. The survey found that power and renewables remain the biggest sources of competition for talent, winning the votes of 37% and 34% of those open to switching sectors, respectively. However, interest in a role in oil and gas appears to be waning however – down to 25% from 30% year.

“Nuclear employers should take heart. The stability they are known for has perhaps never been more appealing,” said Josh Young, director at Energy Jobline.  “The key now is to build on that with the opportunities for training, mentorship and career progression that professionals are asking for. That will convince others that putting their roots down in nuclear is the best way to grow a blossoming career.”

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