Approved apprenticeships signal importance of professionalism for nuclear employers

Fifteen apprentice programmes from three of the UK's largest nuclear employers, Springfields Nuclear Fuels Ltd, Sellafield Sites Ltd and Nuvia Ltd, have been approved at the highest nuclear standard, signalling a leap forward for nuclear professionalism and nuclear safety in the UK.

The programmes have been judged by a panel of nuclear experts as enabling apprentices, on successful completion of their training, to meet the requirements for membership of the Nuclear Institute (NI) as defined by the Nuclear Delta, and for professional registration against the UKSPEC (Engineering Council’s UK Standard of Professional Engineering Competence) at EngTech level. 

The rigorous assessment of the programmes is via a framework developed by the NI and the National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN) which ensures that technicians entering the sector are trained to, and maintain the skills and behavioural standards expected of a nuclear professional.

Training Manager at Sellafield Ltd, Steve Bewsher, said: “The accreditations from the Nuclear Institute and the National Skills Academy Nuclear confirms that those who come through our apprenticeship programme get all the right training, not just to do their jobs, but also to work safely within a challenging nuclear environment. We have 14 Apprenticeship schemes and look forward to working with the Nuclear Institute in the near future to explore the possibility of further accreditation. We invest a lot of time and energy in training and developing our people and the Institute has recognised this. Having recognised accreditation for the nuclear professionalism of our people is high on our agenda, and reaffirms our position as the workforce of choice for the future."

Chief Executive Officer at Nuvia Ltd, Keith Collett, said: "We are delighted to have our apprenticeship scheme accredited by the Nuclear Institute. Our aim is to deliver a high quality training scheme which develops nuclear professionalism alongside the technical and practical skills. It was a pleasure to work with NSAN and the NI to gain recognition of the scheme, and this accreditation gives us confidence that we are preparing young people with the skills, knowledge and behaviours expected of a nuclear professional."

Certificates were awarded to representatives from Sellafield Ltd, Springfields Limited and Nuvia Ltd by NI President Tim Chittenden at an event in Birchwood in September. He said: "These apprentice schemes are producing employees who can work in a nuclear environment with skills that meet the exacting standards demanded by nuclear sector employers."

Collaboration Manager at NSAN Andy McIvor, who has supported the employers through the joint approval process, said: "This approval recognises that these carefully planned programmes develop the apprentice’s technical skills alongside their nuclear professional practice. Apprentices successfully completing these approved programmes can demonstrate they meet the independent standard of nuclear professionalism; the Nuclear Delta.

The technician workforce is a vital component of the planned UK nuclear programme and it is critical for the future development of the industry, that the industry recognises and supports their journey to professionalism."

This initiative has been completed through the National Nuclear Gateway programme which has been funded by employers and UKCES.


Image above shows Raj Thakor - Nuvia Ltd, Steve Bewsher- Sellafield Ltd and Susan Walker -Springfields recieving certification from NI President Tim Chittenden


Notes for editors


Notes to Editors

1.                 The National Skills Academy for Nuclear is the lead strategic body that represents the industry to stimulate, coordinate and enable excellence in skills to support the Nuclear Programme.

The Skills Academy puts employers at the forefront of skills development, by providing a means for hands-on involvement in the design and delivery of learning, so that training is tailored to the specific needs of the nuclear sector. Launched in January 2008 the Skills Academy is working with employers and quality assured training providers to address the current and future skills challenges facing the nuclear industry.

At the core of its operation, the Skills Academy has established a number of employer led national co-ordinating centres i.e. Regional Steering Groups supported by regional training clusters. The Skills Academy operates on a demand led approach to meet the needs of the industry and plays a lead role in raising standards throughout the industry through the Quality Assurance of training providers and courses. Through a regional network of training clusters, the Skills Academy is identifying, developing and assuring local high quality provision that will be ‘centres of excellence’ for the delivery of nuclear specialised training.

The apprenticeship programme approval process is currently open to all member organisations of NSAN.

For more information see:

2.                 The Nuclear Institute is the UK membership organisation for nuclear professionals and has nearly 2000 members working in all areas of the nuclear sector. The NI's core values are committed to nuclear safety, training and professional development. Holding licences from both the Engineering Council and Science Council, the Nuclear Institute registers Chartered Engineers, Incorporated Engineers, Engineering Technicians and Chartered Scientists. With over 60 conferences and seminars every year, the Nuclear Institute offers networking and professional development opportunities. As the professional body and learned society for the nuclear sector, the NI also contributes to public understanding of nuclear energy through government consultations, public lectures and school visits throughout the UK.

3.                 The Nuclear Delta was established by the Nuclear Institute as the definition of nuclear safety, security and professionalism for the UK nuclear industry.

For more information see:

For further information


NSAN – Mary Kinsella, Communications Manager

Nuclear Institute –Susanne Kinnaird, Communications Officer