News & Insights


Investment in nuclear defence job and skills

The UK Government has announced a significant package of investment in skills, jobs and communities to reinforce the nuclear workforce and support 40,000 expected new jobs. This includes a commitment to more than £200m over the next decade to ensure Barrow-in-Furness thrives as the home of UK nuclear submarine-building

Domestic nuclear capability is vital to our national defence and energy security, underpinning our nuclear deterrent and securing cheaper, more reliable energy for UK consumers. The nuclear industry is growing rapidly, requiring 50% more highly skilled workers in the next ten years. 

The Government is partnering with industry, including BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, EDF and Babcock, to invest at least £763 million by 2030 in skills, jobs and education. The investment will create more than 8,000 career opportunities to help the sector fill 40,000 new jobs by the end of the decade. It will also support plans to double the number of nuclear apprentices and graduates and quadruple the number of specialist science and nuclear fission PhDs.

As the home of the UK’s Astute-class nuclear submarines, the most advanced attack submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy, and the new Dreadnought programme and UK AUKUS submarine production, the Cumbrian town of Barrow-in-Furness is also central to the UK’s defence nuclear ambitions.  As a result the Barrow Transformation Fund will include Government committing an immediate £20 million and a further minimum of £20 million a year over the next 10 years to make Barrow an even more attractive place to live, work, and build a nuclear career. 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: 

"Safeguarding the future of our nuclear deterrent and nuclear energy industry is a critical national endeavour. In a more dangerous and contested world, the UK’s continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent is more vital than ever. And nuclear delivers cheaper, cleaner home-grown energy for consumers. 

That’s why we are investing in Barrow, the home of UK submarines, and in the jobs and skills of the future in the thriving British nuclear industry. Today we usher in the next generation of our nuclear enterprise, which will keep us safe, keep our energy secure, and keep our bills down for good."

"This announcement is welcomed across the nuclear enterprise. The UK has an enviable skills base in nuclear but as people retire and demand increases an immediate focus must be to ensure a robust skills base is in place first for the years ahead.

The Nuclear Institute will play a key role in enabling this by setting the standards for Nuclear Professionalism, offering professional recognition and Chartership, and supporting new entrants to the industry through membership." 

Dr Fiona Rayment OBE FNucI, President of the Nuclear Institute

Defence Nuclear Enterprise Command Paper Published

As promised in the Nuclear Roadmap published in January, the Defence Command Paper will establish the UK’s nuclear programme as a critical ‘National Endeavour’ which is vital for our long-term security and prosperity.

It sets out how the UK will deliver the capabilities necessary to maintain the independent nuclear deterrent, including progressing plans to bring new Dreadnought Class submarines into service in the early 2030s. This will build on deepening cooperation through the AUKUS agreement and upgrading key infrastructure, supported by an additional £3 billion in funding for our nuclear enterprise announced last year.

The investment in nuclear skills, which includes £350 million from the Government and more than £400m from industry, will create some 5,000 new apprenticeships in the next four years. It will also drive private investment and create job opportunities for everyone from specialist scientists and engineers, to welders and electricians, to project managers and Royal Navy submariners.