STEM Foundation

Outstanding Training Practice in the Nuclear Sector Recognised

Key players in the nuclear sector came together on the evening of 25 of October 2011 at Westminster to honour training excellence across the sector at the Inaugural NEF Assured (Nuclear) Awards Ceremony. The NEF Assured (Nuclear) Standard is awarded to companies in the nuclear sector. It recognises the need for continuous improvement and for training to impact directly on business objectives. The need for consistency in training and the transferability of skills comes at a critical time of ever increasing demand for energy and uncertainties surrounding the future of the nuclear industry.

NEFAssuredAwards

Jean Llewellyn OBE, Chief Executive of the National Skills Academy for Nuclear gave a historical account of the nuclear sector in the UK stating that “the nuclear industry is one of such historical significance, in which public opinion has a major impact.” The Standard could help to alleviate concerns from the public and is referred to as “innovative and dynamic in meeting the changing needs of the sector.”

The keynote address was delivered by John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning. He highlighted the need to focus on sectors that exemplify a high-tech profile and the increasing need for a skilled workforce in the nuclear sector. The UK alone needs 5000 workers to build each of its eight nuclear power stations and 1000 workers to maintain them.

He stated:
“I am proud that in this country, we have developed a sound, safe and secure nuclear capability, and through advances in innovation and new technology, the UK has proven to be an exemplar in this field. The key is making nuclear power as safe as it can possibly be and the answer to this can be found in the National Skills Academy for Nuclear and the work they are doing with the NEF in assuring training delivery.”

With the knowledge that the UK can lead the global nuclear renaissance with over 44,000 people currently working in the civil nuclear industry and with 50 years of nuclear experience, the NEF and its partner the National Skills Academy for Nuclear are committed to assuring consistency of training delivery in this dynamic sector of growth.

Brendan Daly from Magnox Ltd, formed from the recent merger of Magnox North and Magnox South, gave an account of the NEF Assured (Nuclear) process. He stated that“It is our business priority that our people are competent and we support them as best we can. There are a lot of things that we do well and we need to grow good practice, especially the innovation aspect. Going through the NEF Assured (Nuclear) Standard, the most powerful part was the validation visit as it required interviews with line managers, training and development specialists and end users and it was here that we found out whether all the strategies we put in place really worked.”

The Skills Minister conferred the awards on the successful companies from across the UK. Magnox Ltd, having just been named as the national ‘Winner of the Year’ in the Macro Category in the National Training Award in recognition of its work to train local people in radiological protection, was the first site-license company to receive NEF Assured (Nuclear) award status. Research Sites Restoration Ltd was honoured for achieving consistency in training across multiple sites. Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd was recognised for its commitment to reskilling their employees at a site currently being decommissioned. Sellafield’s exemplary practice in training and development, and their embedded ethos of continuous improvement, was highlighted. Particularly noteworthy was Areva RMC’s People Review, which helps to identify emerging talent, areas for development and supports succession planning.

The NEF's Chief Executive said, "Our independent role in validating the consistency of training and talent development provides the sector with confidence and suggested interventions for continuous improvement. Our partnership with NSAN to support the nuclear sector has proved to be very effective."

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