National College for Nuclear Northern Hub welcomes its first Lakes College students

Posted 2 years ago


A total of 33 learners are currently enrolled on the course, which aims to give learners access to the nuclear sector, and supports career progression and routes into higher education. Seventeen of these are full-time students who are sponsored by the ECITB via The Introduction to Engineering Construction Programme.

All learners will be studying a combination of theory, applied theory, and practical subjects across a broad range of specific nuclear-related modules. They will also be the first cohort of learners to study in the brand new National College for Nuclear Northern Hub building, which is currently scheduled to be officially opened towards the end of the year.

Neve Ruddy, 18, from Whitehaven, says, "I'm really looking forward to the course. It opens up more doors for us in the future, and it means we gain more experience before starting our jobs."

Lucy McKenzie, 20, from Workington, adds, "The course is challenging, but it gives us more opportunities, as we're not specialising in one particular subject – we're just studying general nuclear modules at the moment."

The Level 3 course is designed to help learners gain the necessary skills to progress into a variety of disciplines within the Nuclear and Energy sectors, such as power generation, decommissioning, nuclear new build, defence or renewable energy. The diverse and practical elements of this course mean that learners will be well equipped to enter the nuclear work place or progress onto higher education, or a degree level Apprenticeship.

Paul Fairclough, Director of Teaching and Learning for the National College for Nuclear at Lakes College, says, "I am extremely pleased to see an intake of 33 students onto our new ECITB Level 3 Nuclear Engineering & Science programme. This course provides an excellent platform for those learners who wish to enter the nuclear industry or current nuclear workers who wish to update their existing skills and knowledge. The programme has also been designed to enable learners to progress their studies into degree level courses and nuclear apprenticeships. It is also going to be exciting to observe these courses being delivered with the support of the excellent facilities within the new National College for Nuclear building at Lakes College."

Chris Nattress, Lakes College Principal, says, "I'm absolutely delighted to welcome our first cohort of students onto our Advanced Nuclear Engineering & Science course, supported by the ECITB. A lot of people have worked very hard with industry, employers and the ECITB to have this high quality, direct route into roles and professions within the nuclear sector. It's fantastic to see this hard work paying off, and I look forward to seeing our students progress from this course onto higher studies and very rewarding careers in nuclear."

The world-class nuclear training college was one of five national colleges announced by the Government to create the ‘workforce of tomorrow’.

The hi-tech multi-million pound Northern Hub facility, based at Lakes College, is one of two, with the second Hub being built at Cannington, near 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.

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 & Taunton College, Lakes College, University of Bristol and University of Cumbria.