Sellafield leads development of nuclear apprenticeship standards

29 October 2014

Following government approval, Sellafield Sites Ltd, supported by the National Skills Academy Nuclear (NSAN) is leading the development of three trailblazer apprenticeship standards for the UK nuclear industry.

The government has introduced trailblazers as a way of reforming the way current apprenticeship programmes are designed in order to make them more rigorous and responsive to the needs of employers.

Sellafield Ltd, which employs in excess of 10,000 people and recruited 150 young people in 2014, joins employers from across the country in reaching Phase 3 of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) initiative, which will give British businesses an opportunity to develop new apprenticeship standards, dictating the content and method of assessments involved.

"Employer leadership will ensure that these apprenticeships meet our needs and provide the required standards for a successful career in the nuclear sector," said Head of Education & Skills at Sellafield Ltd, Les Agnew.

A nuclear trailblazer employer group, comprising 20 employer representatives has been established to develop the three new standards for the nuclear sector:

  • Nuclear Worker (two pathways Plant Process Operator/Operative and Decommissioning Operator/Operative)
  • Health Physics Monitor
  • Nuclear Welding Inspection Technician

The group will be chaired by Ken McEwan, head of training at Sellafield Ltd and consists of representatives from across the nuclear industry including site licence companies, supply chain companies and professional industry bodies, who will all participate in the apprenticeships development and subsequent implementation.

The employers will also lead the development of an assessment plan designed to ensure apprentices fully meet the new standards at the end of their training.

The group aims to have the new Apprenticeships approved for first delivery in the 2015/16 academic year.

"These three initial standards which will be developed will provide a blueprint for apprenticeship standards across the nuclear sector," said Jean Llewellyn Chief Executive of NSAN.

Photo: Sellafield Ltd apprentices show Dr Dame Sue Ion the on-site training facility (Source: Sellafield Ltd)

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