A new National College for Nuclear (NCfN) will train future workers and develop world class skills in the UK’s thriving nuclear industry.
The college, a partnership between UK Government and nuclear employers, led by the French-state-owned generator EDF (which in turn owns the two Scottish nuclear power stations) and Sellafield Ltd, will be based at two hubs in Somerset and West Cumbria, close to major sites of nuclear investment.
The two hubs will provide a reactor simulator and virtual reality engineering learning facilities, offering high-tech specialist training to meet the skills needs of nuclear industry employers across the UK.
Business Minister Matthew Hancock said: “It’s expected the nuclear industry will need 30,000 new employees over the next decade – and the Nuclear College will equip young people with the skills they need.
“Creating jobs and opportunities for local people is front and centre of our long term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain.”
The NCfN will work with local schools, colleges and universities, such as University of Bristol and University of Cumbria, setting rigorous training standards and providing inspiration to local young people to take up careers in nuclear.
Funding will come from the £80 million committed by Government towards the seven new National Colleges for industry, and be matched by cash and in-kind investment from employers.
The college will support the Government’s ambition to meet 90% of the sector’s skills needs from a UK workforce, putting Britain in prime position to benefit from the estimated £930 billion being invested in the nuclear industry worldwide over the next two decades. It will also support a more diverse nuclear workforce, and commitments to increase the proportion of women in the sector to 40% by 2030.
With major investment underway in new and existing nuclear power stations, the sector forecasts that its demand for skilled staff at all levels will increase by 40% from 70,000 to 98,000 workers.
The Degree Apprenticeships announced this year are in chartered surveying, electronic systems engineering, aerospace engineering, aerospace software development, defence systems engineering, laboratory science, nuclear and power engineering.