Rooney projects ‘exciting prospects’ in nuclear industry

30 June 2009

Dougie Rooney, national officer for Energy and Utilities at British union, Unite the Union, projected a bright future for prospects in the UK nuclear energy sector in a recent talk to Sheffield, UK’s DavyMarkham. Engineering concern, DavyMarkham is heavily involved in the UK consortium bidding for the ITER reactor vacuum vessel project.

Unite National Officer, Dougie Rooney
Unite National Officer, Dougie Rooney

Rooney, who has also been a member of the General Council of the TUC for more than ten years, said that 10,000 jobs can be created over the next decade, providing that UK manufacturing benefits from the nuclear new build programme. DavyMarkham MD, Kevin Parkin, who is keen to position the Sheffield company as a key supplier of precision machining and fabrication to the nuclear energy sector, invited Rooney to address his staff and spell out the opportunities presented.

Having identified the tremendous prospects offered by fusion-related projects like ITER, which is set to be the world’s largest reactor vessel, Rooney spelled out the need for the management and workforce to embrace the new technologies, working practices and quality assurance systems capable of meeting the stringent requirements of the nuclear industry. He also emphasised the necessity to train and re-train to acquire the level of technical skills this market demands.

Accompanied by Unite Regional Officer, Doug Patterson, Rooney also took time out to attend DavyMarkham’s Apprentice of the Year trophy presentation, the first since the company reinstated its engineering apprenticeship scheme.

Mike Robotham, director of engineering at DavyMarkham, presented the award to Ryan Clarkson, a production fitter who is currently 18 months into a three-year training programme.

“Ryan was chosen because of his positive attitude toward the job, his colleagues and supervisory staff,” noted Parkin. “He shows commitment to every production task he undertakes, as well as to his vocational studies at college, and demonstrates an ability beyond his age and experience. He is a credit to DavyMarkham’s apprenticeship scheme.”

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