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Nuclear Degree Apprentices to join ONR

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) is appointing its first Nuclear Degree Apprentices, adding another career pipeline into the organisation.

The Nuclear Degree Apprenticeship Scheme develops A-Level / B-TEC qualified (or equivalent) individuals to become the next generation of nuclear engineers. It is supported by Blackpool and the Fylde College, a leading provider of apprenticeships, traineeships and employability services.

During the five year programme, apprentices will develop an understanding of working on nuclear licensed sites, and how they are regulated. They will work towards the Level 6 Nuclear Scientist & Nuclear Engineer Standard, and will complete a BEng (Hons) Degree in Nuclear Engineering through Lancaster University, fully funded by ONR. Their learning will include engineering appreciation and awareness and a series of placements at nuclear licensed sites and at our headquarters in Bootle, Merseyside. Their work will cover a wide range of topics including nuclear integration, plant operation, maintenance, testing, commissioning and nuclear safety, inspection and regulation.

Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship programme, there are development opportunities within ONR to work towards becoming a Nuclear Inspector.

Debbie Harrison-North, Head of People Services at ONR, said: “Introducing our first degree-level apprenticeship is one of our innovative approaches to expand talent pipelines into ONR, guaranteeing future supply in the key areas required.

“The government’s Nuclear Sector Deal, published in June 2018, identified a need for more than 100,000 workers in the civil and defence sectors by 2021, up from 87,000. This is due in part to an ageing workforce and a renewed focus on nuclear energy. We want ONR to continually grow, introducing the right people with the right mix of skills and experience will help us achieve that.

“We’re excited to be working with Blackpool and the Fylde College and to welcoming our first cohort in September.”

Candice Downie, Operations Manager – Lancashire Energy Headquarters at Blackpool and the Fylde College, said: “We are thrilled that ONR are recruiting for the Nuclear Degree Apprenticeship programme. This apprenticeship is proving very successful and beneficial for the nuclear industry creating effective nuclear engineers for the future. The apprentices will experience a series of exciting placements and work towards an honours degree in Nuclear Engineering at our Lancashire Energy Headquarters in Blackpool with access to state of the art industry standard facilities including a Pressurised Water Reactor Simulator”.

Applicants to the scheme will need five GCSEs grade A*-C / 4-9 (or equivalent) including Maths, English and Science/technical subject and 240/96 UCAS points or equivalent (excluding UCAS points gained at AS level) to include Maths, plus one other STEM subject (excluding General Studies).

For more information about the Nuclear Degree Apprenticeship Scheme, please visit the National Apprenticeship Service website.