The funding builds on the UK government’s Nuclear Industrial Strategy which is aimed at making sure Britain can benefit from the £930 billion being invested in the nuclear industry over the next two decades.
The construction of new atomic power plants alone could create as many as 40,000 new jobs in the UK – the vast majority of which will be south of the border at the planned new Hinkley Point C and Wylfa nuclear stations – but which could also involve major engineering and civil construction employers from Scotland in the wider UK supply chain.
The funding will create hundreds of new apprenticeships and traineeships as part of the Magnox led Nuclear Industrial Partnership.
Cable made the announcement during a visit to the Dungeness nuclear plant in Kent – which is owned and operated by the nationalised French state utility, EDF, which also owns Hunterston and Torness, the two Scottish nuclear power stations.
He said: “Today we’ve put our money where our mouth is. Industry has told us they need more skilled workers for the nuclear sector, so this £8 million will help guarantee the next generation of workers. This is part of our work to rebalance the economy, creating jobs across the UK.”
Projects to be funded as part of the scheme include:
- More than 300 apprenticeships – comprising 50 apprenticeships on a new ‘Electrical, Control and Instrumentation’ programme and 270 apprenticeships for nuclear supply chain companies
- 100 traineeships – a traineeship programme for 16 to 19 year olds
- 60 summer school places – an 8 to 10 week programme aimed at engineering undergraduates who have completed two years of study, and
- More than 700 STEM workshop places – a 2 day course aimed at school years 10 and 11 to give an insight into engineering construction careers and ways into the industry.