2017 Nuclear Workforce Assessment launched

The Nuclear Skills Strategy Group’s (NSSG’s) 2017 Nuclear Workforce Assessment (NWA), the nuclear sector’s annual forecast of skills supply and demand across the sector through to 2021 has been launched this week.

This comprehensive and regularly updated data underpins the sector’s workforce planning activity, as it enters its new build renaissance. It is aimed at ensuring the NSSGand the wider sector has the evidence required to develop the plans which deliver the right skills, in the right place and the right time. It also embraces the entirety of the sector including new build, operations, decommissioning, research and defence activities.

This latest NSSG NWA is now entirely sponsored by the NSSG member organisationsand key partners. They see this clear ownership, alongside their own contribution of refreshed data, as being critical to improving understanding of sector skills requirements.

Dr Fiona Rayment OBE, NSSG Chair and Director NIRO (NNL) said: An evidence-based understanding of the skills required, and by when, is fundamentally important to developing a skills pipeline to meet the sectors’ skills requirements. This wide-ranging data supports the NSSG’s programme of activity, and also supports employer decisions around investment in training and apprenticeships, as well as education providers to plan and build capacity and capability where it is needed.

Simon Earp, EDF Energy Campus Chancellor‎, added:The data also supports government in development of skills policy and Industrial Strategy, underpinning decisions around strategic interventions and investment. It supports us in ensuring the nuclear sector has a world class and diverse talent base, to understand where we need to close skills gaps, particularly in areas such as skills needed to deploy new types of technology in the UK. And it supports us in facilitating efforts to ensure private and public sectors have interchangeable workforces, where appropriate.

Key NWA findings

  • The total workforce programme demand for 2017 is 87,560

  • The peak demand in 2021 is now forecast at 100,619

  • The existing estate programme demand is now forecast to fall more linearly, with a decrease of around a fifth over the next decade. Nevertheless, replacement demand averages 1450 per year over the same period

  • From 2016 to 2021 the forecast average required inflow, including replacement and expansion demand, is 6830 FTEs per annum (not all necessarily long term appointments)

  • With some significant variations across the industry, women form an average of 22% of the work force across the industry, ranging from 14% in Trades to 36% in business

  • Within training in the civil sector, at all but level 3, the fraction of female trainees is at or above the level in the workforce generally. In Defence, the proportion of women at any particular level is generally below that of established posts.

  • Site Licenced Companies and the Defence Enterprise jointly reported 3291 trainees of which 16% are graduate trainees

Occupations where future pinch points are considered most likely are:

  • Safety Case Preparation

  • Control and Instrumentation

  • Reactor Operation

  • Site Inspectors

  • Project Planning and Control

  • Commissioning Engineers

  • Electrical Engineers

  • Steel Fixers

  • Concretors

About the NWA
The NWA informs skills planning by providing the sector with an updated skills timeline for new build, decommissioning and defence activities, as well as a demand picture for the industry over the next two decades. For the first time, the  Assessment introduces ground-breaking supply-side planning, using a modelling method that features trainee and industry supply pipelines, that will feed up to 25 different occupations at eight different levels. This will enable the development, in 2017, of a number of supply scenarios that will best meet any gap between existing supply and future demand. Again, this is thanks to member and partner investment in new computer simulation capability.

Notes to Editors

This exercise is underpinned by robust quantitative nuclear workforce analysis

On the demand side this features:

  • A ‘whole workforce’ approach and an overall demand picture for the industry over the next two decades

  • A continually updated skills timeline for new build, decommissioning and defenceactivities

  • Scenario planning and the ability to plan an ideal future skill mix

  • Site Licence Company (SLC) Research &Development (R&D) and Ministry of Defence (MOD) data collection

  • Forward resource demands – including Skill Classification and Level, Skills Hotspots and Subject Matter Experts (SME) and Supply Chain demands

  • Regional skills requirements

  • Occupations with potential demand/supply pinch points

  • Resource Supply Routes for 20 key skill areas, including existing workforce, pipeline growth schemes, reskilling  and promotions, sector jumpers

On the Supply Side this modelling:

  • Complements an already developed demand side picture

  • allows scenarios to be designed that in turn inform policy decisions on the level and timing of training and recruitment to meet the UK nuclear programme

  • simulates the training pipeline and workforce for across the nuclear workforces

  • enables complex systems to be understood and their behaviour over time to be modelled by computer simulation

  • Training and industrial supply pipelines, feeding up to 25 different occupations at eight different levels

  • Separate apprenticeship, degree apprenticeship, degree, higher degree and industry transfer stocks

  • Latencies associated with onsite and offsite training, retraining and reskilling and security clearances

  • Attrition throughout the supply pipeline

  • Segmentation by region

The full report is available to NSSG member sponsors.

A public summary report can be found here

For more information contact judith.holcroft@cogentskills.com