Nuclear industry jobs figures robust despite pandemic

Photo shows: Amy Scone: "‘Daddy does the paperwork for the power station but Mummy’s building it!”
Nuclear Industry Amy Scone

Fancy a job in the nuclear industry? New jobs figures published by the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) shows that the number of people employed in the industry has remained steady despite the pandemic. According to the NIA’s annual Jobs Map, 59,584 people are employed in the civil nuclear sector across the UK, a slight increase on 2019.

The nuclear industry remains critical to the South West’s economic development. The sector employs more than 12,000 people across the region, the highest in the UK outside the North-West of England. The construction of Hinkley Point C plays a key role in sustaining employment and improving the UK’s construction skills base: the project employs around 4,500 people on site, and more than 600 apprentices have been trained on the project. As part of the project, more than £1.6 billion has been spent across the region, stimulating further job creation and business growth. Other parts of the nuclear industry continue to have a strong presence in the South-West, from generation and decommissioning, to engineering design and research and development.

The UK’s world-class nuclear research expertise also sees more than 1,700 people employed at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire, and others employed in modular reactor design at sites around the country.

Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the NIA said: “The nuclear industry has shown extraordinary resilience in sustaining high-skilled, well-paid jobs and keeping the lights on throughout this pandemic. The growth in employment on new build projects and advanced research and development shows how investing in emissions free, reliable and secure nuclear power can cut emissions and create the skilled, long-term jobs we need for a green recovery. Now the Government should back nuclear workers by committing to new nuclear capacity as an essential part of the net zero energy mix. ”

This year’s Jobs Map also highlights stories of workers who have found opportunities in the nuclear industry, including Amy Scone (pictured) who signed up for one of Bylor’s lifting apprenticeships before she even knew if she liked heights. Now she can regularly be seen 40 metres above ground at Hinkley Point C, getting in the 1,000 hours on the tower cranes she needs to get her ‘blue card’ qualification.

Today, in her apprenticeship, she has already progressed to her role as Relief Driver and does a couple of climbs a day up tower cranes on site.

Amy said: “I’ve got skills that I’d never have got before. I can stand out from the crowd and I’m proud to say what I do. My husband works as Logistics Supervisor for Bylor. I say to the kids, ‘Daddy does the paperwork for the power station but Mummy’s building it!”

Nuclear Industry Richmond Atinga[2]Richmond Atinga, 24, worked in the leisure industry before joining the Hinkley Point C (HPC) project. He got his CSCS card and engaged with the HPC Jobs Service, he soon found himself on an Electro Technical Apprenticeship with Bylor.

Richmond said: “Now I’m working on a project like no other, getting paid to learn and working with a really great team.”

Nuclear Industry Heather Lovell[2]Heather Lovell joined the nuclear industry in 2015 as a Higher Engineering Apprentice at Springfields. Today, she’s recognized as the 2020 Engineering Apprentice of the Year, and overall UK nuclear Apprentice of the Year, by the UK Nuclear Skills Awards.

Heather said: “Having a career in nuclear is really exciting because of the variety of work, challenges and innovation that I get to witness and be involved with – making a real difference.”

Facts and figures:

NIA Members Employ:
59,584 people
11,354 women in civil nuclear (with a target to reach 40% female employment by 2030)
1,639 people on apprenticeships
890 people on graduate schemes