Is it really jobs or nuclear weapons?

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Committing not to replace Trident does not have to mean the loss of highly-skilled employment.

Far from it – if there is the political will to fully engage with defence diversification – moving the jobs to other industrial production – far more highly skilled jobs can be created in the engineering sector.

11,520 jobs are directly dependent on Britain replacing its nuclear weapons system, Trident. While people’s livelihoods matter, these are among the costliest jobs ever created – when you consider the billions of pounds that need to be spent on the program.

The government has started building a new nuclear weapons system at a cost of at least £205 billion.

Instead of spending public money on strategically useless weapons of mass destruction, CND proposes a transformational programme of public investment as part of a sustainable industrial policy.

Projects such as building science parks, working on essential nuclear decommissioning, becoming a world leader in international inspection and verification, working and investing in the shift to renewable energy, would create many more highly-skilled, highly-paid jobs than replacing the Trident nuclear weapons system. Many of the skills of highly-qualified workers are transferrable and could be used on these developments.

It is unacceptable that entire communities have become dependent on one industry or employer – a sustainable industrial policy would ensure this can’t happen again.

A transition programme would directly benefit those currently working on Britain’s nuclear weapons. Society as a whole would benefit from the shift to more productive jobs. And humanity as a whole would benefit from the reduction in the numbers of weapons of mass destruction.

To assist with this work, CND supports the establishment of a Defence Diversification Agency to redeploy the highly-skilled workforce in the nuclear weapons sector, a policy also supported by the Trades Union Congress.