The UK’s nuclear industry employs over 50,000 people and provides about 18 per cent of the UK’s electricity.
Nuclear power is an efficient source of energy that helps to cut down on carbon emissions, and the Government has outlined plans to build more nuclear power stations. Once a nuclear power station reaches the end of its working life it must be safely shut down and decommissioned.
With the advent of "new build" for a fleet of modern nuclear power stations, as well as existing operations and decommissioning, there are a number of opportunities across the sector.
The industry is supported by a wide variety of supply chain companies, such as engineering and construction contractors, fabricators of specialist equipment, manufacturers and specialist service providers, which may provide further opportunities for employment.
After undergoing an intermediate level apprenticeship, skilled operatives and technicians could find themselves working in a variety of roles within the nuclear industry.
A decommissioning operative would be involved in the safe decommissioning of plant and equipment on a licensed nuclear site.
A radiation monitor would play a key role in the safe monitoring of personnel and work environments.
Within the industry there are many opportunities to progress to technician, supervisory or management roles. British nuclear industry skills are also highly valued abroad.
There will be an ongoing need to attract new young people and adults to meet emerging technological challenges, such as the expected expansion due to new build, as well as to replace the ageing workforce within the sector. The apprenticeship framework will help to ensure that the skills pipeline is robust both in terms of quantity and capability.
The starting salary - once qualified - is between £19,000 and £25,000.
Further information on nuclear working apprenticeships can be found at Cogent [new window].
Reproduced from The Apprenticeship Guide 2013 [new window]
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