The GIFEN MATCH program: “A catalyst for the revival of nuclear power in France"
The MATCH program is part of the prospect of a relaunch of nuclear power in France in accordance with the course set by the President of the Republic in Belfort at the beginning of 2022. It is one of the most important industrial programs for our country for 50 years , with more than 10,000 recruitments per year expected over the next 10 years. Christophe Neugnot, Director of external communications and institutional relations of the Groupement des Industriels Français de l'Energie Nucléaire (GIFEN) explains to us how this program offers us a structured vision of the sector in 10 years or how to match needs and nuclear resources in France?
Can you explain to us the challenges of this MATCH program?
In February 2022, Emmanuel Macron set a new course for the nuclear sector, to respond to climate issues, energy sovereignty and reindustrialization. Among other things, the construction of 6 “EPR2” reactors, the study of 8 additional reactors and support for the emergence of small modular reactors were announced. This relaunch of a nuclear program, in parallel with the work linked to the “major refit”, requires collective efficiency of the sector and the availability of human resources at the right skill level and at the right time. In this context, the MATCH report submitted by GIFEN to the Minister of Energy Transition and to the Minister Delegate for Industry details “the capacities and needs of the nuclear sector”. MATCH results from work initiated in 2020. More than 100 companies in the sector (nuclear operators, suppliers) and sectoral professional organizations contributed to it. 20 segments of operational activities such as engineering, civil engineering, testing and inspections or even boilermaking-piping-welding and their 84 significant professions were thus studied... A structured and collaborative tool to predict your skills and needs. in industrial resources, and to guide the actions necessary to match its capabilities. What we must remember from this program is above all a very clear increase in the volume of work of around 25% for core professions. These are professions in civil engineering, electricity, boilermaking, engineering, etc. This represents around 60,000 recruitments, or 30,000 to replace retirements and 30,000 to compensate for the increase in workload. Once this observation was established on these new needs of the sector, we identified 3 levers of action.
Can you tell us more about these levers of action?
The first is to work on the resources and attractiveness of the sector. In this context, there is therefore a skills plan which was put in place by the University of Nuclear Professions with the creation of the site www.monavenirdanslenucleaire.fr, the promotion of the “nuclear professions week” which proposed more than 230 events to discover careers, companies and training and a very strong partnership with France Travail (formerly Pôle emploi) which offers more than 11,000 offers in the nuclear sector from CAP to bac +5. GIFEN contributes to this by working on the development of companionship. Thanks to the support of experienced employees, we can thus promote the increase in skills of those entering the sector in certain specialized sectors such as forging-foundry, control-command, electricity, civil engineering, process nuclear, boilermaking and energy evacuation. Good actions and good methods will thus be transmitted with a view to improvement with the ultimate objective: participating in the industrial and economic performance of nuclear power.
Which brings me directly to the second lever which concerns operational performance. It's very good to have additional resources, but there still needs to be operational excellence in terms of quality, safety, etc. For example: How to do it right the first time? Because redoing a part or an intervention is costly in time and therefore economically. It is therefore necessary to work on simplifying processes, so that they become more efficient and therefore less expensive.
Finally, the third lever concerns the economic and financial capacity of companies to carry out projects. How can we ensure that all companies in the ecosystem are financially robust? As a reminder, the sector is made up of 500 companies directly linked to nuclear power and 3,000 companies that revolve around it, which represents around 220,000 jobs. So the objective is to work on the contractual relationship which results in a fair sharing of performance but also to develop partnerships in Europe and also with other industrial sectors.
GIFEN strives to enable the sector to work on these levers. It thus continues to run the MATCH program, an update of which will be carried out each year, the next one taking place next summer, in order to continue to refine the results, to deepen the collective actions to mobilize the sector and to deal with them. conditions for success with its stakeholders.
Unlike many countries, in France we have a complete nuclear sector. We build reactors, we are able to operate them, to have factories across the entire fuel cycle and today, the capacity to develop innovative mini-reactors. With this new nuclear program, France has acquired an asset to develop a low-carbon economy, strengthen its industrial competitiveness, guarantee the sustainability of its technological expertise while ensuring its energy sovereignty for decades to come.
The relaunch of nuclear power in France will create jobs in the sector but also significant opportunities for suppliers who will be ready to engage in the certification procedures necessary in this sector. You should not hesitate to contact GIFEN, Nuclear Valley (the Nuclear Competitiveness Cluster) or the major contractors concerned.
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