Sellafield Ltd is funding fifty new apprenticeships for small companies throughout Cumbria.
Candidates could start training as early as February, with more apprenticeships set to be available throughout the year.
The ‘North West Nuclear Community Apprenticeship Programme’ (NWNCAP) is the first of its kind in the UK.
The NWNCAP scheme will help boost employment opportunities for local people, address specific skills shortages within Cumbria and help drive economic growth in the region.
Training offered will cover a range of diverse professions from customer services, property maintenance and scaffolding, to logistics and horticulture.
A range of small companies will be identified as host employers in the coming months, and will be matched to apprentices as they are recruited.
The training is fully funded by Sellafield Ltd on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), and includes the wage costs for the first year of each apprenticeship.
Les Studholme, Head of Training for Sellafield Ltd said: “We are delighted to be using a new community apprentice programme to not only boost nuclear capability, but also create a pipeline of skills that are transferable to any industry, to help Cumbria achieve its unlimited potential.
“The mission at Sellafield is changing, and while we need new skills to drive forward our environmental clean-up, we are also helping to build a diverse and resilient supply chain and thriving economy.
“Investments like this will change lives and help create a future for local people and businesses that goes far beyond the nuclear industry.
“The training has been designed to address the specific skills shortages faced by Cumbria and provide local people with accessible paths to professional qualifications and fulfilling employment.”
This scheme is particularly aimed at supporting students who have been unable to access apprenticeships through traditional routes.
On successful completion of their Level 2 apprenticeship it is expected that learners will be able to progress to an advanced apprenticeship, full time employment or higher education.
Les added: “The fact that these apprenticeships are more accessible to people who may have experienced education or employment barriers, means we opening up opportunities for people who may not have considered apprenticeships before
“It could lead to a role within the supply chain supporting the Sellafield mission, or working in tourism, healthcare or education. The opportunities are vast.”
Developed by Sellafield Ltd, the programme will be delivered and managed independently by the Cumbria Apprentice Training Agency (CATA), with training delivered by a number of leading Cumbrian training providers including Gen2 and Lakes College.
Sellafield Ltd is the first in the UK to run the scheme, which could then be rolled out all over the country.
It is supported by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), Nuclear Skills Strategy Group (NSSG), Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster.
Jacq Longrigg, Head of Skills & Talent for the NDA said: “This scheme is a strategic investment from the NDA & Sellafield Ltd.
“Supporting access to careers in nuclear and enabling those smallest organisations within our supply chain and local communities to employ an apprentice is a priority for us, as the first phase of a wider north west project.”
Craig Ivison, Head of Employment and Skills for the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership said;
“Cumbria LEP fully supports this exciting and innovative initiative to increase apprenticeship opportunities in the county.
“It will also help smaller employers to fully engage in apprenticeships to create the future workforce for their organisation.”
How do I find out more?
If you are interested in applying for a community apprenticeship or are an employer who’d like to recruit an apprentice, contact the Cumbria Apprentice Training Agency (CATA) on 01900 701300.