Training and Development's Role in the Nuclear Industry Skills Gap

Talent Development, October 2012 | Go to article overview

Training and Development's Role in the Nuclear Industry Skills Gap


According to Mohamed ElBaradei, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), there is a significant gap between the number of nuclear engineers who are being produced and those who are retiring, and this gap needs to be addressed to keep the world's almost 500 nuclear reactors running.

Retiring employees, combined with the young workforce's waning interest in the field and a deficit of training programs in general, have contributed to the nuclear industry's growing skills gap. A recent report by GlobalData, Work Force Development to be a Top Priority for the Growth of Nuclear Industry, examines these converging factors. "There's a need to train and develop a skilled workforce in the nuclear value chain--across the entire industry," says Jennifer Santos, head of Power Consulting Services at GlobalData. "All areas are requiring a massive number of employees and the right quality of skills." These areas include construction, maintenance, safety, decommissioning, and research and development.

The report explains that a majority of existing nuclear countries need highly qualified individuals to maintain facilities, while the growing ranks of emerging nuclear countries require new staff to ensure safe and efficient operations. Santos explains that Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011 has elicited concerns regarding nuclear safety, and many countries are revamping their stringent nuclear standards as a result. …

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