Over the past 20 years underinvestment has led to the UK’s nuclear skills base being run down to the point where it is now very fragile and the cracks are showing. As a result a number of key nuclear science and engineering disciplines are now showing signs of shortages developing which is being reflected in both industry and academia. Fortunately, the skills gap has been recognised and the trend of underinvestment is being reversed. Industry, Government and the Research Councils are starting to take steps to address the issue and new nuclear education and research initiatives are underway including the Dalton Nuclear Institute and the plans to create a National Nuclear Laboratory. The concern over a skills gap still exists but hopefully with the realisation of high profile projects such as new nuclear build, the establishment of a National Nuclear Laboratory and continued support from the UK’s Research Councils, involvement in the nuclear field will prove to be an attractive career option for a greater number of people which will put the UK back in the position of having a vibrant and sustainable world class nuclear skills base.

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