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Emiratis count to 60% of nuclear sector workforce

Emirati women account for 20 per cent of the workforce – one of the highest percentages in this sector on an international level.

Emiratis have played a decisive role in the UAE’s achievement in establishing the Arab world’s first nuclear power plant.

From nuclear engineers to senior reactor operators and experts, UAE nationals make up more than 60 per cent of the total 3,000-strong workforce in the nuclear energy sector.

Emirati women account for 20 per cent of the workforce – one of the highest percentages in this sector on an international level. In October 2019, and January 2020, 72 Senior Reactor Operators (SROs) and Reactor Operators (ROs) were certified by the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) of which 30 are Emiratis.

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), established in 2009 to construct the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, has significantly contributed to developing a highly skilled local workforce.

“Developing a new nuclear energy sector is a significant undertaking. In order to achieve our objectives and deliver our project on time, ENEC require a large and diverse group of talented individuals to drive our programme forward, including a mix of experienced professionals and fresh talent,” said Mohamed Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of ENEC.

“The authority is working to ensure Emiratis play a decisive role in the UAE’s nuclear energy industry, and we are proud that our rapid growth has been achieved while maintaining the organisation’s commitment to Emiratisation,” he added.

ENEC’s energy pioneers programme works to attract and develop the country’s most talented science students, engineering graduates and experienced professionals, and provide them with an opportunity to become pioneers of the country’s emerging nuclear energy sector. The programme is critical in building a national skill base to staff the UAE’s nuclear energy industry.

ENEC’s scholarships offer talented students the opportunity to develop the specialised knowledge and practical experience to join the industry as a qualified technician or engineer; helping to operate the UAE’s first nuclear energy plants. To date, ENEC has awarded scholarships to more than 340 Emirati nationals.

To date, 350 students have graduated from the energy pioneers programme, and 124 students are in the pipeline to graduate in the near future. The programme now includes a number of specialised tracks, such as the Nuclear Fuel Design Energy Pioneer Training Programme, and continues to accept applicants from across the UAE.


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