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    WORLD CLASS SAFETY CULTURE NEEDED FOR NUCLEAR WORK

    Construction requires shift in ‘safety behaviours’ for new nuclear programme

    A partnership has been launched to help secure the skilled construction workforce needed to deliver the UK’s New Nuclear Build programme.

    A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the National Skills Academy for Nuclear and the National Skills Academy for Construction (part of CITB-ConstructionSkills) was signed at a Barbican Centre launch in London on 6 December 2011.

    CITB-ConstructionSkills Chief Executive Mark Farrar said the MoU would enable more UK construction companies to be supply chain-ready and able to demonstrate the ‘world class’ skills, capability, safety culture and behaviours of their workforce to operate in a nuclear context.

    Big cultural shift in site behavious required

    Jean Llewellyn OBE, Chief Executive of the National Skills Academy for Nuclear said: 

    “One of the main priorities of the MoU will be to ensure the development of the right behaviours and human performance attitudes across the construction workforce by incorporating the relevant nuclear employer agreed standards which will be recorded on the Nuclear Skills Passport which will help to ensure safe operations in an environment that is or will become a nuclear licensed site.”

    Mr Farrar added:

    “The industry needs to ensure that it has the right skills to be able to meet the demands of the nuclear build project. Nuclear represents a big cultural shift in terms of behaviours needed on site. Safety considerations are far more prominent and complex than in other industries and need to be fully understood.”  

    Research has found that up to 17,000 construction workers will be required throughout the build programme while output would peak around £1.5bn a year during the project. However, the analysis found a recent decline in construction employment levels in the areas where the new nuclear builds are planned will mean existing workers will have to be reskilled and upskilled. This could lead to a shortfall of workers with specific skills when two nuclear sites are being built at the same time.

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