Bridgwater & Taunton College have been working in partnership with EDF Energy to support them with their skills requirements for the creation of the first new nuclear power station to be built in the UK in over 20 years. Hinkley Point C in Somerset will provide low-carbon electricity for around 6 million homes, create thousands of jobs and bring lasting benefits to the UK economy.
Many of the skills required in the construction phase were new or had no formal accreditation, offering the College an opportunity to help drive and deliver formally accredited and nationally recognised qualifications and standards to professionalise the sector and shape the nuclear new build industry worldwide.
The College’s partnership with EDF also led to public and private sector investment in bespoke training environments that now benefit a wide range of employers and industry sectors, including the Energy Skills Centre, Advanced Engineering Centre, Construction Skills and Innovation Centre and the National College for Nuclear.
The College’s collaborative approach to working with employers is leading to extensive private investment and greatly enhancing the College’s capability and reach. EDF Energy has invested £3m in the College’s Energy Skills Centre, a centre of excellence for engineering and low carbon technologies, which saw a three-fold increase in the number of engineering students on full-time programmes in the first four years, and a staggering 400% increase in engineering apprentices during the same period.