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Skilled Workers: Nuclear Power

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether his Department has a strategy for skills in the nuclear industry. (255943)

There will be real challenges in responding to the skill needs of the nuclear industry over the next few years. These include managing the decommissioning programme and balancing the potential requirements for a new civil nuclear power programme with defence skill requirements.

The National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN) has a clear remit to develop and promote skills and career pathways within the UK nuclear industry and to ensure that the capacity exists to deliver skills to meet the different skill needs across the civil and defence programmes. It is employer-led, reflecting the breadth of its industry through its board and associate membership.

The NSAN and Cogent, the Sector Skills Council responsible for nuclear, are currently leading on a detailed review and analysis of the future skills challenges and issues facing the sector. This will inform the NSAN’s five year plan. This will ensure that the NSAN is absolutely focused on addressing both current and future strategic skill needs across the nuclear sector and ensuring that there is capacity available to deliver it.

The Office for Nuclear Development (OND) located within the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will work to build excellence in the UK’s nuclear industry by working with skills bodies, industry employers, other government departments and academia which will ensure a strategic and effective approach to skills development alongside wider policy and decision making.