New report highlights need for nuclear skills

A new employer-led task group will be set up next year to boost recruitment into the UK’s nuclear and health sectors. The formation of such a group has been recommended by a new report published today by the Nuclear Skills Group, which found that although there is no immediate skills shortage in the nuclear sector, […]

A new employer-led task group will be set up next year to boost recruitment into the UK’s nuclear and health sectors.

The formation of such a group has been recommended by a new report published today by the Nuclear Skills Group, which found that although there is no immediate skills shortage in the nuclear sector, there is a need for more radiologists and radiographers in the health sector.

The Nuclear Skills Group study was carried out following an international study made by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published in 2000, which recommended the governments of member states investigate further the issue of skills in the nuclear sector.

A task group will examine the education and training provided to ensure the workforce has the right skills needed by the sector; and look at the ability of education and training establishments to provide the right courses, in terms of resources and quality.

Currently, in the nuclear and radiological sector 30,000 people work in health and 56,000 work in engineering. The report estimates that these elements of the sector will jointly require 50,000 recruits over the next 15 years.

‘The availability of a workforce with nuclear and radiological skills is vitally important to the UK. Many sectors including health, defence, energy, and environmental restoration depend upon people trained in the application of nuclear and radiological technology,’ said Lord Sainsbury, the UK’s Minister for Science and Innovation.

‘I would like to thank the Nuclear Skills Group and the other contributors to the report for their hard work. The report contains valuable information and recommendations both for Government and for the sector. We will be taking this forward with the setting up of the employer-led nuclear skills task group in the New Year.’

The task group, whose membership will include representatives from employers across the industry, academia and from government, will also work with other government initiatives such the DTI’s SETNET, and the DfES’s Sector Skills Councils, and Modern Apprenticeships.

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