Work on the National College for Nuclear has officially started, with the groundbreaking ceremony for the Northern Hub taking place at Lakes College this week. The ceremony for the new multi-million pound facility was led by Colin Reed, Board Chair for the National College for Nuclear.
Mr Reed welcomed visitors to Lakes College SEN Centre, before everyone headed out to the turf-cutting ceremony, which was performed by Stuart Burke and Liam Wood, Year 2 Foundation Degree in Nuclear Engineering students. Chris Nattress, Lakes College Principal, closed the ceremony before inviting visitors back to the SEN Centre for a buffet lunch.
The world class nuclear training college was one of five national colleges announced by the Government earlier this year to create the ‘workforce of tomorrow’.
Colin Reed says: “The college demonstrates the UK’s commitment to placing nuclear at the heart of its industrial strategy for the 21st century. It will provide the talent required to ensure that the industry can grasp the opportunities offered by this growing and diverse global industry, bringing new revenues and benefits to the wider UK economy.
New qualifications will be available in 2017 that reflect the needs of the nuclear sector and address the skills challenge facing the nuclear industry and its supply chain.”
The hi-tech multi-million pound facility, based at Lakes College, is one of two, with the second Hub to be built at Bridgwater in Somerset. The Northern Hub will feature virtual reality suites which will allow learners to experience nuclear installations in a virtual environment, science and radiation laboratories and specialised design and modelling suites. Local construction company, Seddon, will be completing the building work for the Northern Hub.
The National College for Nuclear aims to train the next generation of nuclear workers, and plans to engage over 7,000 learners across both facilities by 2020. The project will be phased and the governance of the College in the first phase will be through a consortium of the National College for Nuclear partners; EDF Energy, Sellafield Ltd, Bridgwater College, Lakes College, University of Bristol and University of Cumbria. The Northern Hub aims to be open by September 2017 while the Southern Hub is set to be opened in November 2017.