22 July 2022

Signatory in the Spotlight: The National College for Nuclear – assuring skills for a net zero carbon future

The National College for Nuclear (NCfN), a WiN UK Charter Signatory organisation, is supporting employers to develop and maintain scarce or specialist skills. This is important work, with a push for diversity at the heart of it, to ensure that capability for the nuclear sector is available both now and in the future.

This is an exciting time for the nuclear industry and the National College for Nuclear (NCfN). The UK has a nationally important and expanding nuclear mission.

As well as existing power generation and decommissioning and waste management activities:

  • the decommissioning portfolio is growing as more power generating reactors are nearing the end of their productive life and entering the decommissioning phase.
  • large scale nuclear new build is underway
  • there is significant investment in new nuclear technology such as Small and Advanced Modular Reactors and fusion.
  • the Government recognises the part that nuclear plays in delivering a Net Zero economy.

With this expanding portfolio, there are more opportunities than ever for stimulating, fulfilling and long-term careers in nuclear. NCfN will support the UK’s commitment to carbon reduction and will be at the forefront of enabling the building of capability in the nuclear workforce.


Our vision and mission

Vision – Being the ‘go-to’ for skills and capability development for nuclear and Net Zero energy missions.

Mission – We are the bridge between employer demand and education providers, delivering the required workforce through the use of shared and assured curriculum.


Our Strategic Themes

 We have identified three strategic themes for the NCfN:

Nuclear Skills: This is about de-risking scarce skill shortages and delivering the required work ready workforce for nuclear employers.

Net Zero Skills: This is about working with other sectors (renewables and zero carbon) to identify and develop common standards and curriculum to close skills gaps and create a mobile workforce.

Skills innovation & Connectivity: This is through partnering and building relationships, we understand the needs of employers and learners and apply innovative learning techniques to enable inclusive learning.


A bit about us

The NCfN was established by government in 2016 to ensure that nuclear employers responsible for major project delivery and decommissioning activities, had access to quality skills and education provision tailored to industry needs. NCfN aims to support employers in developing and maintaining scarce and specialist skills ensuring that capability is available both now, and in the future.

NCfN was established with founding partners who all have a seat on the Board:

  • Sellafield Ltd and EDF as nuclear employers
  • Lakes College and Bridgwater and Taunton College
  • Universities of Cumbria and Bristol


In addition to our founding partners, we work with a further and higher education approved provider network, who all deliver curriculum under the National College for Nuclear brand. We act as a bridge between nuclear employers and providers to ensure we meet the capability needs of industry. We assure a quality product, both in teaching and curriculum content. We give employers the confidence to invest in the upskilling of their workforce, enabling them to proactively respond to and meet the demands of a changing environment as well as maintaining strong talent pipelines.

Whatever stage of your career that you join the nuclear industry, the NCfN can support upskilling and development. We offer apprenticeships, Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, foundation degrees and degrees, and support continued professional development through short course provision.

To make sure we focus our efforts effectively, we work closely with nuclear employers and other skills bodies to understand current and future skill needs. We understand the skills landscape and look for emerging trends in skills delivery, market demand and scarcity at a national level so that we can be responsive to change. We then work with our further and higher education approved provider network to provide industry with access to quality education and upskilling.

By working with employers, skills bodies, and education providers, we will continue to meet the sector skill needs. We will meet the needs of UK strategy through innovative, vocational, and practical skills provision. We will enable the development of critical skills for industry.


Diversity and Inclusion

 At the NCfN, we recognise that true D&I is about more than meeting targets and is about wholesale cultural change. We are committed to embedding inclusion into everything we do and as part of demonstrating that commitment, we are pleased to have signed as a charter signatory with Women in Nuclear.

We are committed to developing a nuclear workforce that fully reflects and embraces the diversity that the UK and our communities offer. Our strategy recognises the importance of levelling up and we are looking to expand our Approved Provider network to further our reach in to communities not traditionally aligned to nuclear.

Our professional and experienced approved provider network have D&I principles built into their learner attraction and retention strategies. When nuclear employees invest in education and upskilling with the NCfN, they can be assured that D&I is recognised, valued and important to us.





Get in touch

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