Defence Questions: 23rd February 2015

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con)
T6. As civil nuclear developments expand the market for skilled nuclear engineers, what steps is the Minister taking to ensure that we maintain the skills levels of the hundreds of nuclear engineers at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire? [907712]
 
Mr Dunne
The facility in Berkshire is extremely important—part of it is in my hon. Friend’s constituency—and I have led cross-Government talks to consider how we ensure that demands for nuclear engineering skills ​across defence and civil sectors are successfully managed by recruiting, training and retaining appropriately skilled engineers. Next week, I will host an event in Downing street to raise awareness of degree courses in nuclear engineering.
 
Mr Russell Brown (Dumfries and Galloway) (Lab)
Ministry of Defence police officers and their colleagues in the defence fire and rescue service are currently subject to the state pension age; yet their counterparts in the Home Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government can retire up to seven years earlier. Does the Minister think that is fair?
 
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Anna Soubry)
We are in the process of working with other colleagues in the Government to conclude that matter, and I very much hope that we can make an announcement very soon. I pay tribute to the fire service and the MDP, both of which do an outstanding job.