News & Insights


GDF to create more than 4,000 jobs within the first 25 years

A new report from Nuclear Waste Services highlights significant and long-term opportunities for a local workforce around a Geological Disposal Facility. 

More than 4,000 jobs are set to be created during the siting and constructing of a deep underground facility for the safe and secure disposal of higher-activity radioactive waste.

The GDF - (Geological Disposal Facility) Creating Jobs & Skills: A First Look report, which was published today by Nuclear Waste Services (NWS), sets out how the multi-billion-pound programme is expected to create thousands of skilled, well-paid jobs for over a century.

This highly engineered facility will be one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the UK and will provide a major investment for the local host community and its economy. Work on a GDF will carry on for about 175 years, generating an expected average of 2,000 jobs in any given year. During this time, it could provide significant additional investment and create thousands of extra jobs through increased business opportunities and the development of new or improved infrastructure and facilities across the region.

Employment will be generated at the facility itself and in the supply chain, while attracting further investment in the local area. Most of the jobs created during construction and, operation could and should be locally based.

NWS will be the developer of a GDF and is committed to recruiting locally where possible, and once a site is selected, roles would be available in a range of disciplines including engineering, science and technical, trades, operations, and business functions. 75% of roles are estimated to be for candidates with qualifications equivalent to A-Level or below.

The long timeframe means that education and training initiatives are planned to ensure local people have the best opportunities to develop relevant skills and qualifications. This project will provide a unique opportunity not only to recruit but also to upskill and reskill local communities, transforming the prospects of a region for generations.

Karen Wheeler, Nuclear Waste Services Deputy CEO/Major Capital Programmes Director, said:

“A GDF will be one of the biggest infrastructure programmes in the UK and provide a major investment for the local host community and its economy, as well as being a vital national project. The long-term nature of the project provides a unique opportunity to develop skills, expertise and sustainable jobs for a local community.

We are now making real progress and having conversations with a number of communities about the potential for them to host a GDF.”

A GDF will make a major contribution to the environment by safely and finally disposing of waste which otherwise would have to be stored and maintained for thousands of years above ground.

The UK search for a suitable site is a nationwide process based on community consent and includes detailed investigations over a number of years to ensure a GDF can be constructed safely and securely. Community Partnerships, which have formed in Mid Copeland, South Copeland, and Allerdale in Cumbria, and Theddlethorpe in Lincolnshire, are engaging in a dialogue with local people to ensure they have access to information about what hosting a GDF might mean.

The Creating Jobs & Skills report provides a national picture, and at this early stage in the process, is not specific to any region. Building on this generic review, NWS is commissioning further detailed analyses to understand requirements for specific regions.

To read the Skills report and learn more about GDF, please visit the NWS website here

Notes to editors

The GDF programme is being delivered by Nuclear Waste Services (NWS), with combined expertise in areas such as nuclear science, engineering, and community engagement. NWS is part of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which has a long-term mission to clean up nuclear sites safely, securely, and cost-effectively.