UK launches Destination Nuclear

15 February 2024

The UK’s nuclear sector has launched its first sector-wide initiative to attract and recruit people over the next two decades into the civil and defence nuclear workforce. The civil and defence nuclear workforce is expected to double over the next 20 years – supporting around 80,000 additional skilled jobs across the UK.

Destination Nuclear brings together Government, sector organisations and their supply chains, education institutions with the aim of attracting and recruiting more people into the industry to help fill critical skills gaps.

The campaign will target those considering a career change with transferrable skills, as well as supporting a commitment to apprenticeships and graduate schemes and increasing the opportunity for PhD students across industry-leading organisations.

The sector is investing in recruiting and developing a highly skilled workforce as it accelerates its growth and innovation. This includes working with other sectors and developing training programmes to re-skill people who may be transferring from other industries.

Techniques already being used by those working in other sectors including construction and manufacturing – digital, robotics and artificial intelligence – will also be harnessed to fill nuclear roles such as welding, systems engineers, project planning and civil and structural engineers.

“The UK has begun the biggest nuclear power expansion in 70 years, with our world leading SMR [small modular reactor] competition and plans for a new mega nuclear plant similar in scale to Sizewell or Hinkley,” said Minister for Nuclear, Andrew Bowie. “To meet our ambitions, we need to rapidly ramp up recruitment in the sector, making sure we have enough people from engineers to welders to design and build new nuclear.”

Lynne Matthews, Head of Destination Nuclear, said the initiative provides a focal point for the sector to come together. “To deliver our nuclear ambition we need to significantly grow the workforce. Many potential candidates may have not considered nuclear as a career. Destination Nuclear will help show the wealth of opportunities the sector has to offer and help a broader range of people explore and venture into a career that is challenging, rewarding and sustainable.”

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