GETI 2023 webinar: power & nuclear energy sectors

Energy Renewables and Power GETI
Leanna Seah

By Leanna Seah
June 20, 2023

February 13, 2024

0 min read

In our third webinar we delved further into the 2023 Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) report, focusing on the power and nuclear sectors. 

Both of these markets rely heavily on a highly skilled and specialised workforce and the discussion covered topics such as salaries, global mobility, ESG issues, and socio-economic shifts.

Read our blog below to discover the key takeaways shared during this insightful exchange on both sectors. 

Watch Part One of our GETI webinar HEREWatch Part Two of our GETI webinar HERE

The energy transition - a new era of opportunity and growth

The energy transition isn't just a hot topic – it's a transformative force that's shaking the very foundation of power and nuclear sectors.

Each day brings fresh opportunities and challenges, ushering in a newfound zest for work life. As Samuelson explains: "The energy transition is far more than just a change; it's a dramatic shift towards cleaner, more sustainable energy sources. This shift is significantly and excitingly reshaping the professional lives of those across the market."

The ripple effects are evident - a staggering 44% of power employees and 29% in the nuclear sector reported dynamic changes in their roles due to the energy transition. But here's the clincher – they're not just adapting; they're revelling in the change, taking delight in the exciting nuances of their evolving roles. 

The spotlight is on the power grid

The increased production of renewable energy sources is reshaping the traditional power market. These intermittent energy sources require adjustments in grid management strategies." 

No longer a niche player, renewable energy has emerged as a formidable force, sweeping aside traditional paradigms and redrawing the energy landscape.

The power grid is at the center of this change, balancing the ebb and flow of energy production and consumption. Adjusting to this new reality isn't optional; it's a crucial survival strategy, prompting an urgent need for ingenious and innovative grid management approaches.

This is more than an adjustment; it's the dawn of a new era in energy, redefining how we generate, distribute, and consume power. The future of energy is not just about production anymore – it's about a holistic, sustainable, and efficient power grid that's ready to embrace the renewable revolution.

The energy transition is igniting a surge in nuclear technology advancement

Perceptions of nuclear energy in the U.S. are complex. Far from being a one-dimensional viewpoint, it weaves a compelling tapestry of insights and perspectives. From its historical stature as a powerful, low-carbon electricity source to its prominent role in the nation's diverse energy portfolio, nuclear energy has been a game changer.

Yet, it is the energy transition that is fueling a renewed fascination with this potent source. As Samuelson observes, "The energy transition has sparked increased interest as well as advancement in advanced nuclear technologies." 

Attracting and retaining talent is key to uplifting the workforce

The power and nuclear markets are experiencing a high demand for talent. Many of these professionals are being approached constantly for other roles on other projects." In fact, 81% of power employees have been approached for another role in the past year. 

These markets rely on a highly-skilled, specialised workforce, and the demand for talent is high. The burgeoning growth of smart grids is catalysing a talent migration between the power and technology industries. The tech industry is the most preferred destination, with 37% of the 24% of respondents pondering a career move from the energy sector.

Motivations for such career shifts predominantly centre around prospects for career advancement, noted by 38% of respondents, while Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors, though significant, have slipped to the third most cited reason at 11%.

Of all the energy sectors, nuclear candidates are the most sought-after, with 19% of nuclear professionals reporting being courted by other companies more than 11 times.

Career advancement remains the key driver for those contemplating a switch, noted 40% of respondents. Other significant factors include interest in the broader industry and compensation and benefits packages, each accounting for 13%.

Nearly half, or 49%, of nuclear professionals highlight benefits as the most influential factor for job satisfaction. Interestingly, this is closely trailed by salary, emphasised by 46% of respondents.

Initiatives for retention and recruitment are also in place

The vital lifelines of recruitment and retention are essential in maintaining a workforce that is not just competent but excels in their roles. 

Samuelson echoes these sentiments, stating,  "Initiatives for retention and recruitment are also in place. This ensures that there is a competent workforce. Many countries, including the US, have educational programs and training initiatives to ensure they're producing qualified individuals." 

Socioeconomic shifts have disrupted both the power and nuclear sectors

Both sectors have shown resilience to changing work practices. However, rising supply chain costs and inflation have caused disruption. Samuelson explains, "The power industry appears to be more impacted by the rising supply chain costs and inflation compared to the overall nuclear markets."

Both sectors reported significant disruption due to rising supply chain prices, with 72% in power and 66% in nuclear. Inflation was another notable disruptor, impacting 69% in Power and 62% in nuclear. 

Despite the tumultuous socioeconomic conditions of the past year, the nuclear industry appears to have weathered the storm relatively well. However, it was jointly the most impacted sector in terms of profit and revenue reduction, reported by 36% of respondents. Additionally, about 35% of respondents indicated that socioeconomic disruption led to the reduction or delay of new infrastructure construction.

This disruption has led to reduced or delayed salary and benefit increases

Samuelson notes, "The disruption reported through the GETI report has led to reduced or delayed salary and benefit increases in the power sector. This also impacts the recruitment and retention efforts of the workforce." However, in the power sector, 49% of professionals reported a pay increase over the last 12 months, while 59% of hiring managers reported pay rises across their sector.

In the nuclear sector, 47% of professionals reported receiving pay increases, with 66% of hiring managers noting pay increases. 

However, the future remains promising for both sectors

The demand for skilled professionals continues to evolve. Nearly half of the professionals reported a pay increase in the past year.

Samuelson says, "The future looks promising, as echoed throughout the GETI report. The demand for skilled professionals in these markets continues to evolve. In the power and nuclear sectors, nearly half of the professionals, per the GETI report, experienced a pay increase in the past year."

Looking ahead, 72% of professionals in the power sector and 73% in the nuclear sector expect a pay rise next year. 

Skill demands and talent shortages 

There are skill demands and talent shortages. Technological advancements, regulatory changes, and an ageing workforce lead to potential retirements. This needs upskilling of the new talent.

Says Samuelson, "Some of the trends and factors that play into this are the skill demand and talent shortages, technological advancements, regulatory and policy changes, as well as the workforce demographics and how retirements are playing into that." 

ESG initiatives are as important as ever

Both sectors recognise the importance of environmental sustainability. Companies are investing in renewable energy projects to diversify their portfolio.

Samuelson notes, "Both the power and nuclear sectors recognize the importance of environmental sustainability in their operations. Companies are striving to reduce the impact of carbon emissions, which includes transitioning towards cleaner energy sources such as renewable energy."

In fact, 56% of power and 47% of nuclear respondents say their company has reduced operational emissions or fossil fuel investments. 

There is a gap between actions and perceived commitment to ESG

Samuelson observes, "Only a third of power professionals believe their companies are fully committed to ESG. This is an indicator that there is a potential gap between the actions that are being done versus the perceived commitment to the workforce." 

The power and nuclear sectors must find balance between benefits, salary and career progression to retain their talent

In the power and nuclear sectors, the talent landscape is continually shifting, presenting unique challenges. Employee satisfaction hinges on various factors like benefits and career advancement opportunities. Prioritising these aspects is essential for talent retention.

Samuelson underlines this by stating, "The power and nuclear sectors are navigating a highly dynamic talent landscape with employees being regularly approached for other roles. Job satisfaction is influenced by a variety of factors including benefits, salaries, the nature of work, and opportunities for progression. Addressing these factors will be key indicators to how you retain talent in both sectors." 

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