- National College for Nuclear opens its doors to train the nuclear industry’s next generation
- College aims to train thousands to build up the nuclear workforce
- Part of the government’s plans for five new National Colleges to equip the British workforce with skills across important sectors
- Part of the LEP’s Hinkley Point Training Agency Growth Deal project – which allocates £6.5m to FE colleges across the area to help them provide speciality training required for the nuclear sector.
Britain’s next generation of nuclear technicians and engineers will begin training across a number of essential roles as the brand-new National College for Nuclear opened its doors on 7 February.
With hubs in both Cumbria (Lakes College) and West Somerset (Bridgwater & Taunton College), the college aims to train thousands of talented young people for the nuclear workforce through courses including nuclear decommissioning and radiation protection.
These skills will be vital for the future of our country’s nuclear programmes, with thousands of trained workers needed over the next decade to complete projects, which includes developing twelve new reactors across five sites.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:
“I am thrilled to announce the launch of the National College for Nuclear, which is just part of our ambition to transform technical education in this country.
“The College will provide high quality training and equip the nuclear industry with the engineers, scientists, technicians and other skilled workers it needs to grow – as well as giving people the opportunities they need to compete in today’s competitive labour market.
“The impressive nuclear training facilities in West Somerset and Cumbria demonstrate how a strong partnership can be delivered between Government, employers and education partners.”
Heart of the South West LEP Chief Executive, Chris Garcia, said: “The Nuclear South West consortium, of which the Heart of the South West is a partner, aims to harness the £55bn of commercial opportunities in the region’s nuclear sector.
“We are very proud to be part of the Nuclear South West initiative’s plans towards creating a nuclear sector deal with government, and we are equally proud to have part-funded the National College for Nuclear with £3m from the Heart of the South West’s Hinkley Point Training Agency package, which allocated £6.5m to FE colleges to help them provide crucial speciality training required for the nuclear sector.
“The funding is part of the LEP’s Growth Deal with Government, which over its period until 2021 will generate £598m additional investment, create 26,300 new jobs and 16,400 new homes.”
The National College for Nuclear is part of the government’s announcement in May 2015, which set out an £80m investment, alongside business contributions, to establish five new National Colleges.
Sellafield Ltd and EDF Energy are leading the industry input into the National College for Nuclear to help ensure its curriculum and qualifications are based on employer need; and will work alongside the University of Cumbria and the University of Bristol with the aim of training 3500 learners by 2020.
Both nuclear hubs will provide a state of the art teaching environment, including virtual simulated workplace environments such as laboratories to give learners a hands-on learning experience.
It is estimated that over 6,000 people each year will need to be recruited into technical and professional roles in the nuclear sector. The National College for Nuclear will help meet that challenge.
Chairman of the National College for Nuclear Colin Reed said:
“It is with pride and expectation that we open the Northern and Southern hubs of the National College for Nuclear today. The journey to this point has been challenging and rewarding. We have students in place at both hubs benefiting from high level vocational education in state of the art facilities that were funded through Government vision.
“From this start we are poised to grow to meet the challenge of nuclear skills in the years to come, both in student numbers at the existing hubs and also as we add further training deliverers at other locations to support the National demand.”
Stuart Crooks, EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C Managing Director, said:
“EDF Energy is proud to be a partner in the National College for Nuclear. It will support the new nuclear renaissance in Britain and is a prime example of industrial strategy in action.
“The southern hub in Somerset will stand alongside the excellent training facilities at Bridgwater & Taunton College which are already helping to provide essential skills needed for Britain’s economy. Together they show the big and positive impact new nuclear is having on jobs, skills and industrial capacity.”
The five National Colleges are: Creative and Cultural Industries, Digital Skills, High Speed Rail, Nuclear, and Onshore Oil and Gas.
All five National Colleges will focus on the provision of Levels 4-6 technical skills training.