Skip to main content

Nuclear Power: Job Creation

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will discuss with the energy industry the employment opportunities for British workers arising from any programme to build new nuclear power stations; and if he will make a statement. (287065)

There are already 44,000 workers employed in the civil nuclear industry in the UK. New nuclear build in the UK has the potential to require thousands of workers and Government are working to ensure that the contribution of UK workers to nuclear new build projects is maximised. The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan and Low Carbon Industrial Strategy published yesterday (15 July) explains this in more detail.

We are already taking action to make sure that Britain will have the skills base to make the most of these opportunities. Specifically we are improving science provision in schools, have charged the Sector Skills Council with taking forward a training strategy, and have helped set up the National Skills Academy for Nuclear to improve the supply of specialist skills at all levels. In addition, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) is conducting a review of productivity and skills in the engineering construction sector which will establish whether there is anything more Government or industry can do to ensure British firms and workers are fully equipped to fill vital jobs in nuclear new build and other large scale engineering construction.

DECC Ministers have regular discussions with the energy industry about skills development issues relating to new nuclear build. In addition the Office for Nuclear Development (OND) in DECC has fostered links with all of the various skills bodies, other Government Departments, academia and industry involved in the nuclear sector to ensure that all are working towards the same goals of ensuring enough skilled people to build a new generation of nuclear power stations.

There is close working between DECC and BIS on these issues.