Today, First Nations Power Authority (FNPA) and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) announced a collaboration. Accordingly, this cooperation will focus on training and employment opportunities available to qualified Indigenous peoples in Canada.
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About the positions
Accordingly, GEH has created 30 highly skilled field service technician roles. Thus, GEH and FNPA encourage Indigenous peoples to apply for consideration for this unique career opportunity. According to a media release by the company, all qualified applicants will be considered.
Indeed, one identified sector offering key employment opportunities for Indigenous communities is the nuclear one, FNPA noted. Thus, through the collaboration between FNPA and GEH, the Authority will engage communities to support the recruitment of qualified Indigenous peoples for these positions.
Similarly, GEH will train any Canadian Indigenous peoples hired as field service technicians; particularly, to support maintenance and refueling outages at nuclear power plants.
In this sense, Guy Lonechild, President and CEO, First Nations Power Authority said in a media release: “FNPA’s collaboration with GE Hitachi is an important opportunity to engage Indigenous peoples in the creation of clean energy options with the future nuclear fleet in Canada.”
Indeed, “FNPA got its start connecting Indigenous communities with corporate Canada; so our work with GE Hitachi is a natural next step towards economic reconciliation in the nuclear sector,” Lonechild continued.
In fact, GEH is planning to hire and begin training new field service technicians this year in preparation for the 2022 outage season; specifically, at boiling water reactors (BWRs) that GEH services in the U.S.
Accordingly, the company will train and certify these employees to service BWR technology. Beside, it will receive critical hands-on experience servicing BWRs in advance of future SMR deployment in Ontario and across Canada.
In this regard, Lisa McBride, Canada SMR Country Leader for GEH said; “GE Hitachi values diversity in our workforce, including equal employment opportunities for Indigenous people.”
Thus, “we are working to develop a highly-skilled workforce to serve the current nuclear fleet; particularly, with the potential opportunity to service the BWRX-300 SMR fleet when deployed in Canada.”
The cruciality of these nuclear jobs
Indeed, and it is worth noting, operators schedule outages at nuclear plants worldwide every 18-24 months to refuel, inspect and maintain the reactors. Thus, the field service technicians who perform this work are highly specialized. Besides, they must travel from plant to plant during the refueling outage seasons; normally scheduled in the spring and fall to align with lower energy consumption.
Lastly, Guy Lonechild, President and CEO, FNPA commented; “In our conversations with GE Hitachi, it was evident there would be strong interest in this kind of highly-skilled but cyclical work in our communities.”
Hence, “members of Indigenous communities can travel seasonally to work in technical roles; thus, providing for their families without having to leave permanently.”
Indeed, postings for these 30 roles are live now. In this way, GEH welcomes all qualified candidates, including those among the FNPA member communities in Ontario, Saskatchewan and other provinces. Finally, the Company expects to begin training in the fall of 2021.