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Published: 17th January 2024

NSSG welcomes UK government’s historic expansion of nuclear power

Sector needs significant increase in staff and skills to support ambitious growth plans
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The Nuclear Skills Strategy Group (NSSG) has welcomed the government’s announcement of its plans to significantly expand nuclear power in the UK.

The government’s Civil Nuclear Roadmap includes measures to quadruple generation to 24GW by 2050, which is the biggest expansion for 70 years.

The announcement references the NSSG’s research that to reach up to 24GW, the civil and defence nuclear workforce will need to double over the next 20 years – supporting around 80,000 additional skilled jobs across the UK.

Our latest labour market report, published in December, highlighted a number of key challenges facing both civil and defence – including the need to bring in 135,000 people into the sector by 2030.

The Nuclear Skills Strategy Group (NSSG) is the UK’s nuclear industry skills lead, bringing together leading stakeholders in civil and defence to collaborate on mitigating the sector’s most significant skills challenges, identifying the key skills risks and developing effective solutions to tackle them.

The Roadmap discusses the work of the Nuclear Skills Taskforce and the NSSG will have an important role in delivering the Nuclear Sector Strategic Skills Plan when it has been finalised. In the meantime, the sector cannot afford to wait – and through an initial contract between the government and Cogent Skills, work has already started on delivering interventions to attract, retain and develop people in critical skill areas, while supporting education and training provision through ensuring access to tutors and a standardised curriculum.

Co-chair of the NSSG, Helen Higgs, said: “It is excellent news the government is expanding nuclear power generation in the UK, which recognises nuclear’s potential in helping the UK reach its net-zero targets.

“Working with the wider nuclear industry, the NSSG is already delivering a range of programmes to meet industry needs and help create a nuclear workforce which is fit for the future – not only in terms of the skills required but also its diversity and inclusion.

“This includes helping boost nuclear’s place in the school curriculum, developing the early careers pipeline and promoting nuclear as a destination of choice.

“We look forward to working even more closely with government and all our stakeholders to help deliver these ambitions.”

Chair of the Nuclear Skills Taskforce, Sir Simon Bollom, said: “This Roadmap is an important step on the path to developing a skills plan which incorporates the needs of the defence and civil nuclear sectors, as well as ensuring we have the people in place to ensure our national and energy security.

“We look forward to laying out the work of the Nuclear Skills Taskforce in greater detail in due course.”

To read the government’s announcement, see: www.gov.uk/government/news/biggest-expansion-of-nuclear-power-for-70-years-to-create-jobs-reduce-bills-and-strengthen-britains-energy-security

To find out more about the NSSG, visit: www.nssguk.com.

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The Nuclear Skills Strategy Group is the employer-led Nuclear Industry Skills lead and provides ‘one voice’ to government.
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