13/09/2016 00:01 BST | Updated 13/09/2017 06:12 BST

Jobs Boost In Nuclear Industry In Sector With 'Growing Role'

The number of people working in the civil nuclear industry has increased by more than 2,000 to almost 66,000 in the past year, figures show.

The Nuclear Industry Association said more than a fifth of employees are female, almost 2,000 are on an apprenticeship programme and over 1,000 are part of a graduate scheme.    

The north west remains the hub of the UK’s nuclear industry, employing 28,435 people.

The south west, the home for the UK’s first proposed new nuclear reactor for generation, at Hinkley Point, has a workforce of 7,421 and the Scottish nuclear industry supports 3,977 jobs.  

Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said: “The nuclear sector has been a major employer in the UK since the 1950s and the 2016 Nuclear Jobs Map highlights the vital and growing role it plays today, employing more than 65,000 people, in every part of the UK.  

“The Government has placed a renewed emphasis on creating an industrial strategy for the UK’s energy future, and the figures published today show why reliable, low carbon nuclear power is an important part of that strategy.  

“Not only does nuclear feed the grid with sustainable, low carbon electricity to complement other ways of generating power, it also supports tens of thousands of high skilled, well paid, long term careers in science, technology, engineering and advanced manufacturing.

"The expertise of the UK industry and workforce is world renowned, with UK companies increasingly exporting that capability around the world.  

“Some of these jobs are in preparation for, and part of, the UK’s new build programme which will secure the reliable low carbon power needed to replace retiring power stations over the next decade.

"Many further jobs will be created in the new build programme, with at least 40,000 more likely as three projects including Hinkley Point C, Wylfa Newydd and Moorside are developed – creating more opportunities for young people, skilled engineers, and workers looking to find a new challenge."