A new scheme will help boost employment opportunities for local people, address specific skills shortages in Cumbria, North West England, and help drive economic growth in the region.
The training offered will cover a range of diverse professions from customer services, property maintenance and scaffolding, to logistics and horticulture.
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. 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 NDA, Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, Nuclear Skills Strategy Group, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and the Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster.
Jacq Longrigg, head of skills and talent for the NDA said: “This scheme is a strategic investment from the NDA and 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: “The partnership 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.”