The UK's nuclear energy industry will soon benefit from a new skills development initiative - the National Nuclear Gateway project - after the approval of funds from a non-governmental commission.
The National Skills Academy for Nuclear has gained approval via the Growth and Innovation Fund for the project, funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and matched against nuclear employer investment.
"The National Nuclear Gateway project will help ensure that the UK has the right skills at the right time to deliver the nuclear program as planned."
Jean Llewellyn, CEO of the National Skills Academy for Nuclear
The National Nuclear Gateway project aims to deliver "transformational growth" in the UK nuclear industry by "equipping businesses and their supply chain with the fundamental skills at the right level and the right time to deliver the planned nuclear program in the UK from 2015 onwards."
The project aims to help employers understand what level of skills and experience already exists in their business and in their contractors. It will also provide the relevant training and resources where skills gaps are identified.
The two-year funded project "will ultimately result in an enhanced offer of skills-related products and services to the nuclear industry in the UK." It aims to develop a "standardized approach to workforce competence and capability assessment" and accreditation of apprenticeship and professional development courses.
The project also aims to establish an on-line skills and education portal to enable nuclear training and learning resources to be shared and made accessible to a wider network of companies.
Longer-term impacts from the project include the creation of 3000 additional apprenticeships in the supply chain by 2016 and increased productivity of nuclear companies by £50 million ($80 million) by 2017 through targeted training spend. The project will also contribute towards the forecasted 10,000 jobs required for nuclear new build by 2015.
CEO of the National Skills Academy for Nuclear Jean Llewellyn said, "The UK nuclear industry is a significant sector in the UK economy, with more than 200 companies and 44,000 employees. The sector has the potential to increase to 54,000 employees by 2016 to meet the growing needs of energy policy."
She added, "The National Nuclear Gateway project will help ensure that the UK has the right skills at the right time to deliver the nuclear program as planned."
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News