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On the 7th and 8th November, a second Franco-British Seminar on innovative approaches to nuclear skills was held in London. Around 50 individuals from the nuclear industry, research, education, government and from a number of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) gathered at the French Residence to discuss and explore the previously identified, key themes crucial to the success of the Franco-British Nuclear Sector.
Organized by France’s National Institute for nuclear sciences and technology (INSTN) and the UK’s Nuclear Skills Strategy Group (NSSG), the two-day Seminar was opened by the French Ambassador Jean-Pierre Jouyet and closed by Stephen Speed, Director of the Nuclear Directorate at the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Both renewed the support of their countries to nuclear energy as part of their respective journeys towards a low carbon economy.
Stephen Speed, Director of the Nuclear Directorate at the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) closed the seminar.
In France and the United Kingdom, the nuclear sector is facing a series of considerable challenges which will require the expansion of a skilled workforce. The UK is undergoing a nuclear renaissance which sees developers planning to bring forward a number of major new build projects , while over in France, the sector is undertaking the progressive replacement of the reactor fleet.
Skills have already been identified as a pressing priority for both countries, and joint approaches were tabled during the last Franco-British Ministerial Summit in January 2018, chaired by Richard Harrington MP (Minister for Business and Industry at BEIS) and Brune Poirson (Minister at the Secretary of State for Ecological and Solidarity-based Transition).
Following the first Seminar in May, last week’s high profile seminar addressed a number of priority themes linked to innovation, subject matter expertise, career pathways and vocational training, sector jumpers, diversity and the attractiveness of STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and of the nuclear sector towards young people.
This latest Franco-British Seminar on Skills illustrates the deep links France and the United Kingdom share in the nuclear sector, with the industry on both sides of the Channel set to play an important role in meeting climate change commitments.
The output of the Seminar was a number of clear objectives, which were agreed via joint Working Groups, together with roadmaps to reach them.
The next Seminar, which will take place in Normandy, in May next year, will focus on progress and share the results of this important work, results that are essential to the competitiveness and further development of the nuclear sector in both countries.