Engineering graduates will receive a boost this year with the announcement that energy giant EdF plans to take on 100 new recruits to help prepare for the onset of new nuclear.
Of the 100 graduates, 80 will be trained in the nuclear business. An EdF spokesman confirmed that half of these will eventually work in its new build division as the firm gears up for the UK’s first nuclear power plants since Sizewell B in 1995.
The move to train graduates in how to engineer the facilities is set to close the skills gap threatening to jeopardise new nuclear development, which needs to get underway in earnest to ensure the lights stay on in the UK. The first of the new generation of nuclear power plants is set to be operational by 2018.
National Skills Academy for Nuclear chief executive Jean Llewellyn last year warned that the industry was desperately short of the skills it needed to build the government’s programme of proposed plants.
“We could soon have significant gaps in the nuclear skill base as many of those still in the industry are coming towards the end of their careers,” said Llewellyn. “We need to encourage more young people into the nuclear industry where there are many exciting career development opportunities.”
EdF is planning to build four new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point, Sizewell, Heysham and Hartlepool.