Supported by a raft of industries and all senior politicians including the Prime Minister, National Apprenticeship Week is vitally important in introducing young people to employment opportunities and this year the nuclear industry played a key role.
The Department for Business Innovation & Skills opened its social media campaign for the week posting an infographic detailing the growth of apprenticeships in the UK nuclear sector. The graphic which illustrates a 300% increase in nuclear apprenticeships since 2008 were gathered and released by the National Skills Academy for Nuclear and the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) on 9 March.
In addition to the headline grabbing statistics, the NIA produced 12 ‘apprentice cards’ to showcase the range of different apprenticeship opportunities in the nuclear sector. The cards documented those currently doing apprenticeship schemes and former apprentices now holding senior positions. The range of cards gave prospective apprentices the chance to quickly read about what each job entails and get some useful advice, such as “Ask! Ask as many questions as you need to” and “be inquisitive and challenge the norm.” The cards were a great success, reaching over 50,000 people on Twitter, retweeted over 130 times and favorited 43 times.
To round off the week, Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to rollout nine freely available Degree Apprenticeships in a number of key sectors, including nuclear. The NIA welcomed the launch of the scheme commenting:
“Degree Apprenticeships will provide a balanced approach for work based learning and academic achievement to ensure graduates have the work-ready skills, knowledge, experience and competence required by the industry.
“With the advent of nuclear new build around the corner, and many jobs already available across the sector in the supply chain and in decommissioning, we need to see more young people looking towards the nuclear sector for a rewarding and worthwhile career.”
A number of NIA members are taking part in the scheme and with a new fleet of nuclear reactors due to begin construction in the coming years and an already far reaching decommissioning programme underway, new apprenticeships will be vital.
NIA members taking part in the Degree Apprenticeship programme:
Sellafield, Rolls Royce, Atkins, Ultra Electronics, Jacobs, Westinghouse Springfields, UK Atomic Energy Authority, Magnox Ltd, Low Level Waste Repository, EDF Energy, National Skills Academy for Nuclear, National Nuclear Laboratory, Manchester University – Dalton Institute