GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and FNPA encourage Indigenous Canadians for skilled opportunity
By Anthony Capkun
July 22, 2021 – First Nations Power Authority (FNPA) and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) are collaborating on training and employment opportunities available to qualified Indigenous peoples in Canada.
GEH has created 30 “highly skilled” field service technician roles. The partners encourage Indigenous peoples to apply for consideration for this career opportunity. All qualified applicants will be considered.
“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,” said Guy Lonechild, president & CEO, FNPA.
As a participating organization in Canada’s Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Action Plan, FNPA has identified that employment opportunities in the nuclear sector offer several benefits for Indigenous communities. Through the collaboration between FNPA and GEH, FNPA will engage communities to support the recruitment of qualified Indigenous peoples for these positions.
Meantime, GEH will train any Canadian Indigenous peoples hired as field service technicians to support maintenance and refueling outages at nuclear power plants.
GEH is planning to hire and begin training new field service technicians this year in preparation for the 2022 outage season at boiling water reactors (BWRs) that GEH services in the U.S. These employees will be trained and certified to service BWR technology and will receive hands-on experience servicing BWRs in advance of future SMR deployment in Ontario and across Canada.
“GE Hitachi values diversity in our workforce, including equal employment opportunities for Indigenous people,” said Lisa McBride, Canada SMR Country Leader for GEH. “We are working to develop a highly-skilled workforce to serve the current nuclear fleet, with the potential opportunity to service the BWRX-300 SMR fleet when deployed in Canada.”
Outages are scheduled at nuclear plants worldwide every 18 to 24 months to refuel, inspect and maintain the reactors, explains GEH. The field service technicians who perform this work are highly specialized, travelling from plant to plant during the refueling outage seasons, normally scheduled in the spring and fall to align with lower energy consumption.
“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,” said Lonechild. “Members of Indigenous communities can travel seasonally to work in technical roles, providing for their families without having to leave permanently.”
Postings for these 30 roles are live now. GEH welcomes all qualified candidates, including those among the FNPA member communities in Ontario, Saskatchewan and other provinces. Training is expected to begin this Fall.