Business Secretary Vince Cable announced £8 million of funding yesterday to train the next generation of nuclear technicians and engineers.

The funding will create hundreds of new apprenticeships and traineeships as part of the Magnox led Nuclear Industrial Partnership.

Funding builds on the government’s Nuclear Industrial Strategy which is aimed at making sure Britain can benefit from the £930 billion being invested in the nuclear industry over the next 2 decades. The construction of new power plants, alone, could create as many as 40,000 new jobs in the UK.

The Business Secretary is made the announcement at the Dungeness plant while on a tour of Kent businesses. Alongside a visit to Magnox, Dr Cable is to meet pupils from the Langton Star Centre, visit manufacturing firms Integrated Technologies and Geku and will preview the Jasmin Vardimon Company’s latest dance production ahead of the company embarking on its world tour.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Today we’ve put our money where our mouth is. Industry has told us they need more skilled workers for the nuclear sector, so this £8 million will help guarantee the next generation of workers. This is part of our work to rebalance the economy, creating jobs across the UK.”

Projects to be funded as part of the scheme include:

  • 320 apprenticeships – comprising 50 apprenticeships on a new ‘Electrical, Control and Instrumentation’ programme and 270 apprenticeships for nuclear supply chain companies
  • 100 traineeships – a traineeship programme for 16 to 19 year olds
  • 60 summer school places – an 8 to 10 week programme aimed at engineering undergraduates who have completed two years of study
  • 720 STEM workshop places – a 2 day course aimed at school years 10 and 11 to give an insight into engineering construction careers and ways into the industry
  • a Labour Market Analysis of the current and future skills needs for the UK nuclear industry – this will include national and regional reports of skills shortages and gaps

The total funding is £8 million, with £4 million from the government Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot. The remainder will come from employer ‘cash match’ plus benefit in-kind contributions. It will help to deliver a high performing workforce, provide industry with the confidence to invest in a nuclear future and assist the supply chain develop the skills and expertise required to compete in the UK and global market for contracts.