The nuclear power industry is on the rise in the US. Nuclear power is expected to grow faster in the next 5 years than it has in the past 30. In addition to the aggressive growth projected in terms of American demand for clean energy, the industry is also expected to see a large portion of the workforce retire. This means that managers need to be mindful of their recruiting practices to make sure they have the talent they need to succeed. There are skill shortages in all industries, but in nuclear power it can be a deal-breaker. Here’s how you can address these skills gaps in your workforce.

Establish Succession Plans

As Baby Boomers (who currently make up the majority of the nuclear power workforce) are preparing to retire, it is critical to establish a succession plan to ease the transition. That means offering younger employees the opportunities to train and learn from veteran workers and planning ahead in order to recruit those most capable to fill their shoes.

Apprenticeship programs, creative recruiting, and on-the-job training are all successful tactics that grow your workforce from the ground up in preparation for continued industry growth. Mentorship is another way to plan for and establish successions, but also provide younger employees with the access to experience and networking that would prepare them for industry changes. Rather than avoiding the issue, it is best to address issues of succession upfront and transparently, so that when large portions of your workforce do retire, a younger generation of manufacturing workers are prepared to step up.

Embrace a More Diverse Workforce

In order to sustain this aggressive growth in America’s manufacturing sector, it’s important for employers to recognize how worker demographics are changing. More women and minority workers are expected to join the ranks of nuclear power workers and manufacturing in general. To capitalize on this shift in worker demographics, it is critical for employers to adjust corporate policies and workplace culture to embrace a different type of employee. This will not only create a more effective workplace environment but will also help attract key talent.

Training an Industry

In current day America, there are as many as 600,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs that employers are desperate to fill with high-quality talent. Considering the staggering demand for young talent in the manufacturing sector, it is incredulous that more employers don’t offer more paid internship, apprenticeship or on the job training programs for these mid-skill level positions.

Encourage Creativity in the Workforce

Millennials are a creative bunch of workers. They like to approach problems in different ways than necessarily has been done before. Make room for that creativity. It will not only help employers attract a younger generation of workers, but also may pave the way for exciting innovations that can change the industry. Supporting and providing quality feedback for these employees is critical to making the most of their skills, but in today’s volatile market, a little youthful creativity might just give you the edge.

For more advice on how to hire the best candidates for your team, even when navigating a talent gap, connect with the hiring experts at Williams today.

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