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Cumbrian firm boosts Project Academy

The course is being delivered at Energus, Lillyhall L-R: Andy Smith (Sellafield Ltd), Yula McCourt (University of Cumbria), Paul Zanacchi (COMS)

A small Cumbrian company is helping to provide specialist training as part of the Project Academy for Sellafield.

Cumbria Operation and Maintenance Services (COMS) has developed a course in pre-operations & commissioning, which they are providing to prospective project professionals in the area.

The Cleator Moor based company specialises in pre-operation, engineering and maintenance.

COMS was co-founded by Dave Garratt & Cliff Woodman in 2014.

Dave is a former Sellafield Ltd employee having honed his skills at the Sellafield nuclear site for more than 30 years, while Cliff spent many years in the pharmaceutical sector.

Andy Smith, pre-operations capability lead from Sellafield Ltd said: “It’s great to have Cumbrian companies helping to develop the next generation of project professionals, not only for Sellafield, but the UK.

“Course feedback so far is 100% positive and 100% recommended if you want to understand pre-operations and commissioning and how it can help project and task delivery.”

“This is a great example of collaboration between supply chain and Sellafield Ltd in both development and delivery, drawing on the skills of both to produce something better than either could have achieved alone.

“The expertise that exists in COMS shows that Cumbria and the UK remain at the forefront of project education and skills.”

Business Director for COMS, Cliff Woodman said: “Cumbria O&M Services (COMS) is proud to be supporting the Project Academy for Sellafield and the University of Cumbria in the development and delivery of the Commissioning and Pre Ops Fundamentals Awareness course.

“It has allowed us to couple our pre-operations & engineering expertise with our training capability to produce a quality product to support project delivery on Sellafield site – and hopefully beyond.

“Also, through our success on this contract, we are very pleased to have been recognised as a competent & leading supplier of operations, maintenance and engineering services to Sellafield Ltd.”

The Project Academy for Sellafield is the first of its kind in the UK.

It was launched three years year ago to help increase project capability across the country, and now has more than 1300 students on its books.

It is now becoming the gold standard model for project training, replicated by companies across the world.

It is being delivered by the University of Cumbria, who secured the contract in 2016, along with six partners.

Since formation in 2014, COMS now have more than 40 employees providing specialist services across West Cumbria.  The company is now exploring opportunities to export skills across the nuclear sector and other industries.

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