First cohorts from Sellafield’s Project Academy to graduate next week

First cohorts from Sellafield’s Project Academy to graduate next week 

Next week sees the first graduations of HE programmes delivered as part of Sellafield’s innovative ‘Project Academy’ in the magnificent setting of Carlisle Cathedral next week. 

Graduates on the Foundation Degree, Foundation Degree in Project Management and University Certificate in Project Controls will attend their graduation ceremony at 3pm on Wednesday 18 July.

The ‘Project Academy’ is the brainchild of Sellafield Ltd and is being delivered by the University of Cumbria. The university won the £13.2-million-pound contract to develop and provide a range of higher education programmes, from short courses, professional qualifications to HE certificates, diplomas and degrees to masters and doctorates.

The courses provide specialist education, training and professional qualifications necessary to deliver the complex and challenging projects associated with decommissioning Europe’s most complex nuclear site.

Talking about the success of the first cohorts from these new courses Professor Julie Mennell, Vice Chancellor at The University of Cumbria, said

Speaking about the success of the first cohort from these new courses Professor Julie Mennell, Vice Chancellor at The University of Cumbria, said “This is the first graduation of University of Cumbria students from the project academy. The students have demonstrated fantastic commitment to their studies not least whilst continuing to undertake a full time role.  60% of our first cohort achieved distinction, with 100% passing.”

“Our relationship with Sellafield is significant for the University.  The project academy is one of our flagship projects with industry, and demonstrates our role with key employers and sectors to maximum the benefits of infrastructure investment in Cumbria to our communities.   Developing capacity and capability in project management, contributing to the successful delivery of projects and programmes on one of the world’s most complex nuclear site is both exciting and challenging.  Our plans are to work with a range of partners across Cumbria and North Lancashire to further develop new and vibrant employer-based education, apprenticeships and other experiential learning opportunities to retain and attract new talent into the county”.

Over the last year, the university has developed new higher education courses including the University Certificate in Project Controls, which was developed in response to the needs of industry and accredited by the Association of Project Management.

A new BSc in project management will start in September, which will provide a route into a career in project management for individuals either starting out in their careers or looking to retrain.

To date 500 Sellafield students have gone through the academy achieving a 95% pass rate, which is ahead of the national average and currently leads the industry.

Steve Livingstone, Projects Director for Sellafield, said; “Last year we saw the first students embark on their journey with the academy, and to see them graduate on Cumbrian soil, with world class qualifications, makes us very proud.

“We are privileged to have developed a completely fresh concept for higher education and training, and together with the University of Cumbria, we will increase project management capability not just for the nuclear industry, but for the UK.”

Steve added; “Sellafield Ltd has always provided pathways to education and training, but this academy is transforming the way people train in many of the professions related to projects, from design, quality, operations and construction to health and safety, project management and leadership."

“Project delivery improvement is a key part of the transforming Sellafield, so to grow the next generation of project professionals on our doorstep demonstrates that we are becoming the centre of nuclear excellence.”

The courses are delivered in Cumbria through partners which include, the University of Manchester, Furness College, Lakes College, Centre for Leadership and performance, 2020 ltd and Provek Ltd.

Short courses are also being developed in commercial awareness, NEC3 and quality as a consequence of  demand from Sellafield Ltd and are being accessed by the nuclear supply chain and other industry sectors.

All courses are open access and available to other sectors and communities.

By providing people with the skills to meet current and future needs of the industry, Sellafield Ltd and the University of Cumbria are investing in the development of local people, while helping to address the growing demand for project professionals, not just for the nuclear industry, but for all industries UK and worldwide.