Can digitalisation fend off a nuclear talent gap?

Nuclear Industry
Across the energy sector, competition for talent is fierce and the nuclear sector is no different. The challenge is not just in attracting the best individuals but also retaining them. Maintaining employee satisfaction is key, as nuclear businesses know only too well.

According to our recent Global Energy Talent Index (GETI), nearly two-thirds of nuclear professionals are considering a switch to another sector. It’s a worrying statistic, particularly as 40 per cent of respondents are less satisfied than they were three years ago.

What can nuclear companies do to tackle the problem and retain nuclear talent? Salary is often an important factor but the nuclear sector sits comfortably in the middle in terms of its pay, so it becomes less of a pull.

However, there are some positive signs…

The GETI revealed that 36 per cent of respondents are happier now than three years ago. A reassuring sign is that 63 per cent of 25 to 34 year old professionals responded positively. One of the main reasons for this is the rise of digitally-enabled flexible working, with 43% saying it’s a leading driver of happiness.

Global Energy Talent Index 2018 - survey results on nuclear talent trends
51% of respondents cite skills gaps as the biggest workforce challenge with cyber security ranked as the most in demand skill

Digitalisation is a key issue shaping the future of the industry and it holds an enormous amount of potential. Although two-thirds of workers understand that automation increases efficiency, not everyone is fully bought in. Nuclear professionals are less likely to credit digitalisation as a positive development, with one-in-five uncertain of its impact.

Businesses must do more to address the challenge

Flexible working has already proved successful, so it will be crucial for nuclear companies to develop these opportunities further. Enabling flexible working and digitalisation will require careful management of the risks involved, particularly in cyber-terrorism management. Carefully balancing the benefits of automation with potential security risks will help to build an engaged, happy and motivated workforce.

Digitalisation is vital to retaining nuclear talent and averting a skills gap

We know that the younger professionals already get this, with almost nine-in-ten seeing it as good for the sector. They are the future of this industry and an important group to attract and support. Businesses must now focus on realising the full benefits of digitalisation if they are to replenish their aging workforce with this next generation of talent.

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