16 Dec 2021
On 2nd November, NSSG attended and sponsored the NIA annual conference. This event sees the coming together of all of the parts of the civil nuclear sector, from various new build opportunities to decommissioning across the UK, and including export opportunities. It was so exciting to see such optimism for the sector for the coming years. Greg Hands, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy was a key note speaker at the event, stating the UK is on a “mission for fission”. In his speech he was quite clear that “we’ll need to unlock the full potential of renewables and flexible technologies……but we’ll also need stable, firm, low-carbon power for when the wind doesn’t blow, and the sun doesn’t shine. Ladies and gentlemen, net zero needs nuclear!”
With this optimism come some enormous skills challenges that the NSSG are uniquely equipped to deal with. Greg Hands again stated “On skills, we’re committed to ensuring the sector has the talent it needs now and in the future….and that it is diverse. I look forward to the Nuclear Skills Strategy Group’s latest assessment, which will help shape the sector in this decade and beyond”. (full details of the minister’s speech can be found here)
Chair of the NSSG, Corhyn Parr, participated in a challenging session on diversity in the afternoon of the conference. Quoting date from the latest Nuclear Workforces Assessment, she pointed to the lack of progress to date in gender balance, and how we were artificially limiting our access to talent through excluding large swathes of the population of Britain.