Darlington Refurb helping to fill skilled trades gap
OPG has been driving multiple initiatives that offer career-building opportunities in the nuclear industry to help support the Darlington Refurbishment project and fill the widening gap in skilled trades capacity.
“We anticipate by 2023, the demand for skilled trades will be at its peak,” said Dietmar Reiner, Senior Vice President of Nuclear Projects. “OPG has been working with our partners to help ensure we have access to a steady stream of highly skilled workers to support the Darlington Refurbishment and other nuclear projects in the province.”
Working with the Electrical Power Systems Construction Association, OPG has identified a list of trades — including boilermakers, millwrights, pipefitters, electricians and carpenters — whose demand within the sector is likely to exceed supply within the next five to 10 years.
OPG’s newly introduced Indigenous Opportunities in Nuclear (ION) program is one of the initiatives aimed at filling the gap in skilled trades. Working with Kagita Mikam Aboriginal Training and Employment, ION seeks to recruit qualified workers from Indigenous communities and set them on exciting projects, such as the Darlington Refurbishment, while providing them with transferable skills.
“The program’s goal is to place ION recruits in career-building jobs at OPG, our vendor organizations or in union halls,” said Kenn Ross, OPG Indigenous Relations Advisor.
By fulfilling its mandate, ION will help increase the number of nuclear jobs held by Indigenous peoples to 2.4 per cent, up from 1.4 per cent currently.
Unit 2 refurbishment on track
OPG is now past the half-way mark on refurbishment of Darlington’s Unit 2. Having completed reactor disassembly, the project team is now rebuilding the unit part by part, including calandria tubes, fuel channels and feeder tubes. The reassembly phase is set to be completed by summer 2019.