“Prospect is calling for a supply chain that invests in local communities and employs local labour, and we want to see trade union agreements on this,” said Mike Graham, National Secretary of the union representing 15,000 scientists, engineers and specialists in the nuclear and radioactive waste management industry.
Speaking to the Nuclear World Class Skills Conference at Manchester Central, he added: “Unlike other areas of the economy, where employees are facing closures, redundancies, and pressure to drive down pay and pensions, new nuclear build will mean a period of growth and expansion in the areas it takes place. Communities in areas such as Sellafield in Cumbria and Wylfa in north Wales are already reacting positively to industry interest in building there.
“New build will bring job opportunities, good employers, decent terms and conditions and long-term quality jobs, not only for current communities but future generations.”
Graham stressed the importance of having a graduate scheme in place to attract the best of British talent into the industry. He also welcomed the focus by employers on recruiting apprentices from young people at local colleges.
“Much of this work is being led by the National Skills Academy for Nuclear, of which I am a board member. We call on all stakeholders along the supply chain to invest in a skills plan, via the NSAN, that builds on the UK’s nuclear skills base and helps make us the global leader in a global market.”
Prospect estimates that each new nuclear power station will create 500-600 long-term, permanent, skilled jobs. Where there are two adjacent power stations, that number will double. In addition thousands more jobs will be created in construction and along the supply chain.
For details of the conference see www.nuclearskillsconference.com