Many science, maths and engineering students feel they are not studying subjects relevant to the nuclear industry and have never heard of careers in the sector, according to a new study.
Conducted by the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), the survey involving 1,300 young people studying engineering related disciplines found out that almost half of the survey’s participants did not believe the skills they were taught were relevant to the nuclear industry and 14 per cent had never heard about career options in the industry.
The Nuclear Industry Association said the findings were "worrying", as up to 140,000 workers could be needed to build new nuclear power plants over the next 15 years as well as decommission current power stations as they are switched off.
As with most engineering sectors, the nuclear industry is facing a skills shortage as employees retire and too few new recruits join the industry, said the NIA.
"The UK led the way in developing nuclear power and new investment will mean valuable new jobs and skills across the country," NIA chief executive Keith Parker said.
"But because no new nuclear power plants have been built in a generation, we run the risk of losing the skills needed as the current workforce nears retirement."