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Nuclear. Patrick Bossaert: “2,000 employees in Lyon in four years”

What does the nuclear industry in Lyon and its region weigh at EDF?

Patrick Bossaert: “There are different professions in Lyon: operation, engineering and deconstruction. On the engineering side, there are about 1,000 jobs, particularly in the technical department of Gerland, at the Grande Halle, where there are about 750 people. With several other local entities, we thus arrive at 1,000 people.

Around, the CNPE (Nuclear center of electricity production) of Bugey, which counts four units, employs approximately 1,200 collaborators, just like those of Cruas and Tricastin. That of Saint-Alban, about 700. The engineering entity of the construction and waste projects department employs 600 people, with two construction sites in the region, in Creys-Malville and Bugey. .

In Lyon, the whole chain is present. For us, it is the second region after Île-de-France.

Read on Tribune de Lyon: Nuclear revival: a Lyon jackpot

Have the government announcements, in November and then in February, already changed a lot of things for you?

We are still cautious, the decision belongs to the State. This is a public decision, but we are confident about the solidity of our case and the elements given to the government. However, we are preparing. Because the day the decision is made, we must be ready to implement it.

It’s a feedback from the past: when we decided to close Flamanville in 2007, we weren’t as ready as we thought and we encountered pitfalls in the deployment.

What does “being prepared” mean for you today?

We must anticipate the arrival of skills because they take time to emerge, form and mature. It takes several years for engineers from Insa, for example, or Centrale, to be completely ready. It takes mentoring. They are sent to a construction site.

Today, we have 1,000 employees in EDF engineering in the Lyon region and there will be 2,000 in four years. Not to mention the design offices we work with, which are almost all located in the Lyon region. There too, it is a thousand additional jobs.

But if the government were to backpedal, what would become of these jobs?

We have other projects to carry out. This preparation will benefit another project if this does not happen. For example, in England, there is Hinkley Point as well as a second project which is being prepared, in Sizewell, and for which we await the decision of Great Britain this summer.

There is also a project in India for six EPRs, and here again the decision is expected in the months or year to come. Our portfolio of projects is large enough to move forward without regret.

Will current training and graduates be sufficient to meet your needs?

The education system will have to mobilize more, for us, but also for the sector. This concerns several hundred companies of all sizes, in particular those which manufacture and assemble the equipment.

We know that we’re going to have to recruit a lot in the coming years when we have the feeling that the industry does not attract enough, which is also the result of 30 or 40 years of deindustrialisation.

We have analyzed the needs of the nuclear sector for 2030: for example, in only one third of our businesses, we have 25,000 professionals today and 5,000 to 6,000 of them will retire. At the same time, we assessed our needs in this segment at 33,000 people.

So in fact, we have to almost double the workforce in just one third of our businesses. However, certain skills must already be there by 2028.

Is this pressure on employment likely to push you to seek skills abroad?

It is not our will. We are already looking for skills in struggling industries. We did it with aeronautics at the start of 2022 at Naval Groupe, which lost its contract with Australia.

We will also look in the automotive sector: with the switch to electric, there are skills that they cannot keep. We also promote our professions to women. We have 28% women in the workforce. It is a breeding ground towards which it is necessary to go.

Finally, another untapped pool is young people from underprivileged neighborhoods, who sometimes have training – bachelor’s, master’s, BTS – in the technical world and who nevertheless find it difficult to access employment. In this respect, we are getting closer to Our neighborhoods have talent. There are therefore breeding grounds to be exploited before going to recruit abroad. »

La Mache school strengthens its nuclear sector

The school foundation of 8e district of Lyon, La Mache, has just been selected as the winner of the France Relance call for projects “strengthening skills in the nuclear sector”. The school specializes in trades in industry, construction and new technologies.

Read also on Tribune de Lyon: Private education. La Mache will grow

Since October, already in partnership with the Nuclear Valley regional competitiveness cluster of which it is a member, it has been providing training in high demand by the sector, a bac+5 specialized in industrial cybersecurity.

The business school is also going to launch a completely revised training course, that of a computer-assisted machining technician. There is a strong evolution in machining professions: CNC machines are increasingly computer-assisted, and increasingly interconnected with other equipment.

“We are moving towards the “factory of the future”, where we can automate from the input of the material, produce complex parts, and palletize them for shipping. For this, we must train people who understand all the links in the chain. It’s an interesting and well-paid job, for which we intend to recruit young and old alike.”slips Éric Mutin, director of the foundation’s Higher Pole.

La Mache intends to constitute a class of 10 to 12 students at the start of the next school year. In this context, the call for projects allows the school to finance equipment, but also educational support, with the recruitment of specialized personnel.

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