By Callum Thomas
Founder and CEO of Thomas Thor Associates and Chairman of KeySource Global
The current and long-term outlook for career opportunities in the Canadian Nuclear Industry is looking very good indeed. As Chairman of KeySource Thomas Thor, a global recruiting and HR consulting firm that has been working in Canada for many years, I would like to share some of the reasons behind this statement. Whether you are already working in the international nuclear industry, or working in another regulated and technical industry, it is worthwhile taking the time to understand what is happening in Canada. Over the coming decades Canada will be investing continuously in refurbishing many nuclear facilities, decommissioning others and undertaking an extensive research and development programme which includes SMR (Small Modular Reactor) development. All of this is happening simultaneously, which means that the need for local and international talent in Canada is considerable.
Here are some of the reasons for considering a career move to the Nuclear Industry in Canada:
1. Decades of work in the pipeline at Canada’s nuclear power plants
In 2016, work started on the refurbishment of the 4 CANDU reactors at the Darlington nuclear plant owned by OPG in Ontario. This work will continue until 2026 and OPG say it will create 14,000 jobs during the project and will ensure that the plant can operate until 2055. On the other side of Ontario the largest nuclear plant in the world, operated by Bruce Power, is also embarking on a major refurbishment programme for 6 of its 8 CANDU reactors. Starting in 2020, estimated to cost CAD$13bn and continuing for around 15 years, this will be an even larger project than the one running concurrently at Darlington. We estimate that over 30,000 jobs will be created during these refurbishment projects.A third nuclear power plant, Pickering, will operate until 2024 (pending regulatory approval) and will then be decommissioned. The preparation for decommissioning and then the decommissioning process itself will create more jobs and will continue for decades.
2. Long term investments at Canada’s Nuclear Laboratories
Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL) is a Crown corporation with a mandate to enable nuclear science and technology and fulfil Canada’s radioactive waste and decommissioning responsibilities. With multiple sites across Canada, AECL and its supply chain are undertaking multiple portfolios of projects that range from news methods for waste management to development of an SMR (Small Modular Reactor) nuclear programme. While many countries are decreasing their investment in nuclear science and technology, Canada is on a long term stable growth curve.
3. Long term job security
The conditions in the Canadian nuclear industry are conducive to long term job security. A large and varied portfolio of projects and workstreams are scheduled that will continue for the coming decades and, crucially, there is funding, public backing and political backing from the government and all major political parties. People relocating to Canada now to work in the nuclear industry have the rare opportunity of long term job security that can be found in very few industries and countries.
4. Canada is a stable and secure country
Over recent decades Canada has been a shining example of successful immigration and economic policies. Not only have they grown their economy through integrating newcomers of many different nationalities into their population, they have also done it in an inclusive way and have avoided some of the divisions that are causing issues in other countries today. In addition, the fact that Canada was virtually unscathed by the global economic crash in 2008 is testament to the versatility of their economy. These are all good signs for families or individuals considering relocation to Canada.
5. Canadians are welcoming and immigration rules are pragmatic
The immigration process is well established in Canada. It allows for skilled and educated people to come in to the country if there is a clear benefit to Canada and Canadians. Benefits could include bringing rare skills to the country that do not exist in the Canadian population, transferring skills to Canadians, creating jobs or creating economic growth. There is a clear benefit to Canada and Canadians in highly skilled professionals joining the Canadian nuclear industry, specifically in delivering projects and workstreams of national importance and transferring skills to Canadians (which in turn creates more jobs). Canadians have a long history of welcoming international people to their nuclear industry, so this is not something new!
6. Quality of life is very high
It is hardly a surprise that Canadian cities such as Toronto and Vancouver regularly top the ‘’best places to live’’ surveys. It is not just the cities that provide high quality of life, but the whole country. We have already covered the warmth and friendliness of Canadians, the security and stability of the country and the long-term job opportunities. In addition to these we should also consider the beauty of the country and the multitude of things to see and do. In the summer there are opportunities to explore the beautiful nature of the vast country that has the same land mass as the US but with just over 1/10th of the population. The winters are cold, but those that enjoy winter activities such as skiing and snowmobiling are in the perfect place.
7. Canada’s nuclear industry is respected worldwide
As a global nuclear recruiting business, we can state with confidence that employers worldwide respect the professionalism and quality of people that have worked in Canada’s nuclear industry. Whether you are a Canadian with an eye on international work opportunities, or an expat with a view to move on from Canada after some time, the experience gained in Canada will open doors to opportunities in other countries. In ten years from now some of the world’s leading experts in areas such as nuclear mega project delivery or SMR deployment will be in Canada.
If you have any questions or are looking for further information about specific career opportunities in Canada then please contact KeySource Thomas Thor at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our websites www.keysourceglobal.com or www.thomas-thor.com.