Britain’s first college is opening to train the future professionals for the nuclear industry
The new National College for Nuclear intends to train and prepare thousands of engineers and technicians in hope of supporting the future of nuclear programs in the UK and at the same time provide a cleaner source of energy. The college aims to create a specialised and highly skilled workforce within the nuclear sector and ensure the challenge of filling skilled professionals in nuclear is overcome.
The college will have regional hubs in the Lakes College in Cumbria and within Somerset in southern England. EDF Energy who are currently developing the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant is one of the partners in the college.
Stuart Crooks, the Managing Director at Hinkley has suggested that the college is essential and will support the development of new nuclear in Britain. Crooks believes the college is a key example of ‘industrial strategy in action’.
The British Government is implementing an industrial strategy which consists of five national colleges, one of which being focused in nuclear energy. The plan of the Government is to create the technical skills for young people and generate a skilled workforce for a variety of sectors, ensuring long-term and continued economic growth.
The other colleges that are already open and operational include the College of Creative and Cultural Industries - Digital Skills and High-Speed Rail. The Department of Education (DoE) recently stated that the nuclear industry is expected to increase, with the planned development of 12 new reactors across five specific sites. The DoE believe approximately 6000 people will be required every year for both technical and professional positions. As a result, the National College for Nuclear is being viewed as an essential part of generating the workforce and expertise required to satisfy this growth.
The college will collaborate with a range of leading nuclear sector professionals from the main nuclear decommissioning site at Sellafield. EDF Energy will also work closely with the University of Cumbria and Bristol to train and assist in the development of close to 3,500 people in the next two years.
The Chairman of the National College for Nuclear, Colin Reed, said we are planning to meet the challenge of nuclear skills in the years to come. Reed emphasises this will be achieved by generating higher student numbers and creating additional training sites at further locations to support the growing demand for nuclear skills.
Richard Harrington, the business minister has suggested the opening of the new nuclear college is a critical moment for the future of the nuclear industry in Britain.
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