From Bridgwater Mercury 9/05/2016

A NEW National College for Nuclear is to be set up in Bridgwater after £15 million in government funding was announced.

The venture is one of five National Colleges aimed at creating 'the workforce of tomorrow' by delivering high-level technical training.

Set across two hubs – one at Bridgwater College and the other in Cumbria – the college aims to train over 7,000 learners by 2020.

The college, which is set to open its doors in late 2017, will meet the demand for highly skilled workers in the nuclear sector and will offer courses designed by employers for a range of highly specialised careers.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “This is the investment in high-tech skills that businesses are crying out for.

"We have made it a priority to work with employers to deliver high-quality, technical education and clear routes to employment that deliver economic growth and create opportunities for our young people, and enable our existing workforce to upskill and retrain for the jobs of the future.

“The National Colleges have been designed with employers, for employers.

"They will produce the skills needed now and into the future to ensure the UK remains innovative and at the forefront of pioneering industry.”

The National College for Nuclear is being funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), with additional support from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership for the Southern Hub.

Sellafield Ltd and EDF Energy will lead industry input into the nuclear college, working alongside Lakes and Bridgwater Colleges, plus higher education providers, University of Cumbria and University of Bristol.

Colin Reed, Sellafield Ltd Human Resources Director and Board Chair for the National College for Nuclear said: “The announcement means that work will now begin on developing the curriculum which will help to train the next generation of nuclear workers.

“It is expected that new qualifications will be available in 2017 that reflect the needs of the nuclear sector and address the skills challenge facing the industry and its supply chain.”

Janet Hogben, EDF Energy's chief people officer, said: “We welcome the Government’s approval of the business plan as it means this exciting project can now move to the next stage.

“The new college will offer a fantastic opportunity to plug the skills gap that exists in the nuclear industry and will further support the UK’s growing nuclear power infrastructure.”

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