Latest News | 7 February 2023

Academy for nuclear apprentices celebrated in Parliament

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Rolls-Royce has celebrated the launch of its new Nuclear Skills Academy, which is training hundreds of apprentices, at an event held in the House of Lords.

More than 150 representatives from the Houses of Commons, House of Lords and across industry attended to hear how Rolls-Royce Submarines is investing in the nuclear experts of the future.

The first 200 apprentices walked through the doors of the academy, on Infinity Park, back in September.

Steve Carlier, president of Rolls-Royce Submarines, said: “We were thrilled by the levels of interest in these apprenticeships and the enthusiasm shown by our first intake of students.

“It highlights how attractive a career in the nuclear sector really is. With the growing demand for clean, carbon-free energy and with our submarines contracts with the MoD likely to sustain us into the next century, this could be a job for life for our new apprentices.”

Nuclear Skills Academy imagery (formerly iHub) _Lauren Park_No Classification

The Nuclear Skills Academy is the first of its kind and aims to sustain nuclear capability within the UK’s submarines programme by creating a dedicated pipeline of talent at the start of their careers.

Mr Carlier said: “Having started with Rolls-Royce as an apprentice myself and being born and bred in Derby, the launch to the Nuclear Skills Academy is especially exciting for me.

“I’m delighted that we are leading the way in developing nuclear talent for the submarines enterprise and proud that it will all be done in Derby.”

The Nuclear Skills Academy is supported by industry and education experts, including the University of Derby, the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, the National College for Nuclear and Derby City Council.

The launch at the House of Lords was supported by Keith Beckett CBE, technical director and deputy chief executive of the Submarine Delivery Agency and Rolls-Royce apprentices, who shared their initial experiences of the academy, the nuclear industry and the benefits of enjoying free higher education through the apprentice route.

Andrew Storer, from the Nuclear AMRC, spoke of the importance of collaboration when it comes to this programme.

He said: “We need to work together to tackle skills shortages which affect the whole nuclear sector.

“The organisations backing the Nuclear Skills Academy will ensure that apprentices have the best training and support and develop the skills to deliver the UK’s commitments for low-carbon power and national security.

“As a former Derby apprentice, I am very proud that we are helping set a new standard for training which could be rolled out across the sector.”

The home of the Nuclear Skills Academy is an iconic building in Derby, formerly known as the iHub.

The hope is to position the East Midlands as the centre of nuclear excellence in the UK, an aspiration Derby City Council is excited by.

Councillor Chris Poulter, leader of the city council, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the people of Derby which will help to further build our reputation as a city of innovation.

“It is vital that we bring forward the next generation into the nuclear industry and apprenticeships are a fantastic way for those of all ages to earn while they learn.”

Applications for the 2023-24 academic intake are now open.

For details on careers at Rolls-Royce, including applying for the Nuclear Skills Academy, visit here.

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