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« Your opportunity to store nuclear waste. | Main | RPT Uranium: Up 18.42% today! »

United Kingdom requires 60,000 ‘nuclear’ workers!

UK Map of nuclear plants 12 June 2008

In an attempt to fill 27 job categories the United Kingdom government have relaxed immigration laws in order to attract skilled workers from anywhere with knowledge of the nuclear industry. The Home Office have added these jobs to the ‘national shortage’ list with the hope of attracting the right people with the requisite skill sets.

About time too! The clock is ticking for the United Kingdom down to 2015, which is only seven years away when the current nuclear power plants are to be decommissioned. Once the existing plants are decommissioned the United Kingdom will need to find approximately 20% of its energy requirement from elsewhere. So we can see that time is of the essence, and the Prime Minister Gordon Brown has recognised the need and is doing something about it.

BUT! There is always a but in there somewhere isn’t there? Enter the unions, just a minute there are jobs to be had here so what about us? The GMB are reported as saying it would be ‘tragic’ if the new jobs went to people brought in on the ‘cheap’ We understand the unions concerns for their members but the United Kingdom is a member of the European Union which embraces freedom of movement for the labour market and lets face it the French have the expertise that the United Kingdom requires. This new stance by the government is an extension of that facility to a worldwide invitation. If we consider that Britain has not built a nuclear power plant since Sizewell B, which opened in 1994, then the need to import labour is obvious.

Gary Smith, national officer for the GMB union, said:

"There's a huge opportunity to educate and regenerate. What we will fight is any attempt to bring labour into the UK and to bring it in on the cheap."

"It's going to be several years before they start pouring concrete into nuclear power stations”

In our humble opinion the United Kingdom does not have several years before starting to pour concrete it should be pouring concrete today.

A Nuclear Skills Academy has been set up to train and supply thousands of staff for the nuclear industry, which is another good start in terms of trying to find a solution to the problem of skills shortages. Lets hope that the unions and the government can negotiate there way through this sensitive issue with the speed that the situation demands.

Have a good one.

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