Date posted: 20th April 2016
Arc Energy Resources Boosts Its Nuclear Credentials
Says Andrew: “NSAN is concerned that there may not be sufficient skills in UK engineering specifically for the nuclear sector, and the Academy has been formed to help redress the problem. The more we looked at the training available, the more we felt this was an organisation we would like to be involved with. We also made contact with them at a couple of conferences and they then emailed me with an opportunity to get more involved and to become a member of the NSAN advisory board. For manufacturers the board considers topics ranging from what employers want, to what is actually lacking, so it is a useful facility to have.”
The unit has an extensive range of online courses available to help interested companies. This includes NS4P – an online nuclear skills matrix that companies and their employers can log onto, to work towards a nuclear passport.
Membership also gives Arc Energy Resources access to companies such as Cavendish Nuclear, BA Systems, the MOD, Babcock and Rolls Royce, as well as all the nuclear operators out there. And as Andrew says: “For manufacturers like ourselves it is really helpful to be around a table with companies such as these, discussing the issues we are collectively facing. It is also useful to find out if the perspectives taken by large companies and SME’s are different, and generally it does appear that the same issues are coming up. “
Also, from the NSAN point of view, with many bigger companies on board it is good for them to have input from smaller companies such as Arc Energy Resources that have qualified for the entry level Fit for Nuclear qualification. And for Arc Energy, with its location so close to the proposed new nuclear site at Hinkley Point in Somerset, Andrew is keen to build its experience and ensure that these companies can help the main contractors with specialised engineering experience provided locally.
Arc Energy already has an apprenticeship programme, in common with many other companies in the nuclear industry. But the delays to the new build programme mean the UK could find itself in a situation where current graduates find work in other industries, and are not available when the reactors are approved for construction. If several projects all then receive their approvals at roughly the same time, this could cause a significant skills shortage. Our job is to keep training engineers, and maintain the skills of the existing ones.
“Nuclear has a great deal of potential for us,” says Andrew: “and I believe Arc Energy Resources really has an important role to play.”