James Fisher Nuclear (JFN) is an established, niche supplier of specialist services and equipment, including design, manufacture, testing, and inspection, to a diverse range of nuclear customers who operate across the nuclear sector in new build, decommissioning, fuel manufacturing, and generation.
JFN employs approximately 400 full-time equivalent workers in the UK nuclear sector, which Managing Director Dr Paul Read estimates accounts for approximately 60% of their total business turnover. His initial motivations for getting involved in NSAN were commercial, as he describes:
“Initially it was all about increased visibility, leading to us doing more business – it seemed to be important to a number of our key customers.”
In addition to this commercial motivation, MB Faber (a company which was subsequently incorporated into James Fisher Nuclear) was involved in the first and second years of the Community Apprenticeship Scheme and keen to see how NSAN could support them.
James Fisher Nuclear are now involved in NSAN through a number of routes, including the Employer Ownership Funded Give2Gain project, Triple Bar training, the NS4P, and regional meetings in Wales.
The Benefits of Membership
James Fisher Nuclear received approximately £40,000 of CAS funding for seven Apprentices starting in 2008 and 2009. As the Community Apprenticeship Scheme is now closed, this benefit has not been factored in to the Return on Investment calculations, but we note that this funding on its own equates to over three years of James Fisher Nuclear’s membership.
It is possible to identify direct commercial benefits from membership of NSAN; at least one of James Fisher Nuclear’s major Site Licence Company clients scores 1% of their Pre-Qualification Questionnaires to Skills Academy membership, and based on this proxy we estimate 0.5% of their nuclear turnover could be attributable to that relationship.
In the last 12 months James Fisher Nuclear have put 18 members of staff through the Triple Bar (Existing Sites). This has cost approximately £60 per employee. However, it has led to significant cost benefits in the view of Rob Watson of JFN, who believes that the increased efficiency of induction through this programme enables each of these members of staff to access the site one day quicker than they were previously able to. This increases the amount of billable work they can do, and as this work is valued at £680 per day, brings about total benefits across this cohort in excess of £12,000.
Paul also believes that NSAN has helped James Fisher Nuclear to understand and correct skills gaps.
“We have a formal process in place now to identify skills gaps and then identify appropriate training for individuals which could be technical training or personal skills; NSAN adds weight to that programme and gives us an awareness of the training opportunities out there to deal with gaps.”
Paul and Steve agree that the relationship they have with NSAN and specifically with their Operations Manager provides value in terms of helping them to formulate their views around training requirements for the industry (which otherwise they would have to invest time and resource informing).
In total, Paul estimates that the value of the insight they get from the relationship with NSAN is equivalent to approximately 5% of a director-level individual’s working year. He estimates the value to the business of this time at approximately £3,000 (based on the costs to the business of that individual rather than the opportunity cost).
Costs of Membership
James Fisher make a significant investment in membership of NSAN, both in terms of cash, and in terms of officer time attending meetings both with Skills Academy staff and with other Skills Academy member organisations. For more detailed information on this case study, please download the Value of a Long-Term Relationship report.