Apprenticeship Week presents the nuclear industry with a major opportunity to showcase itself to the young people that it more than many engineering heavy sector needs to attract. The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) will be leading this effort in supporting this year’s Apprenticeship Week and will be exhibiting at the Big Bang Fair alongside organisations such as National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). They will be aiming highlight the breadth of opportunities available in the nuclear sector to students planning their educational path towards an engaging and rewarding career.
Britain’s civil nuclear industry is in the midst of a resurgence, and a sector which already employs over 63,000 people across the country is projected to grow substantially over the course of the next decade. Employment opportunities which are already available throughout all parts of the sector in new build, operations and decommissioning will multiply as construction of new stations begin, then come online and current operating sites switch off.
Both Sellafield Ltd, EDF Energy and a number of other nuclear firms offer scientific, engineering and business focused apprenticeships. Each year, the industry employs over 1,500 apprentices – a number which has increased substantially since 2008. The NIA’s re:generation initiative serves to highlight and promote the range of opportunities available to the next generation of the nuclear workforce.
Talking about the initiative NIA Chief Exectutive Tom Greatrex, said “The UK’s nuclear industry is set to expand at a rapid rate and the school children of today are tomorrow’s engineers. Apprenticeships offer an almost unrivalled opportunity for school leavers and I would urge anyone interested in a demanding but rewarding career to explore the employment avenues open to them in the nuclear industry. “
“With nuclear new build just around the corner, and many jobs already available across the supply chain, we need to see more girls and boys looking towards the sector for their future careers.”
STEM disciplines offer a streamlined route into the sector as an engineer or scientist, and the scale of opportunities in those fields are obvious. However the sector also craves talent across all areas of the workforce from business development and administration to procurement managers and marketing executives with different backgrounds and experience.
A large proportion of this new workforce will be made up of both girls and boys currently in education. Apprenticeships are now a popular entry point for school leavers looking to earn and learn at the same time and a number of nuclear companies already run extensive programmes covering all parts of the nuclear lifecycle.