UK calls on Sellafield to build project management skills 

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New standards are being produced by employer led groups, known as ‘Trailblazers’

Sellafield Ltd is the driving force for project management skills on behalf of the UK, having been selected by Government to act as a ‘trailblazer’ for new apprenticeships.

The company charged with decommissioning Europe’s most complex nuclear site is developing new project management apprenticeship standards for BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) – as a way of growing the project delivery capability of  the whole country.

The new standards are being produced by employer led groups, known as  ‘Trailblazers’, making the schemes  more relevant and therefore more attractive to existing and new employers.

Jamie Reed MP for Copeland hosted an event in the Houses of Parliament, where Sellafield Ltd thanked other companies for their contribution and encouraged others to follow their lead, he said: “Sellafield Ltd has an excellent training programme, and is also playing an important role in developing new top-quality apprenticeships that will support the future skills requirements needed in the nuclear industry.

“Through the trailblazers initiative, companies like Sellafield Ltd will give people the opportunity to develop their talents and skills they need to thrive.”

The Sellafield nuclear site is home to some of the most complex projects in the UK, and with 500 apprentices on its books, is widely known for its commitment to education and training.

Over the past year the company has been working alongside BEIS, and other employers including: Rolls Royce, Transport for London, Lloyds Banking Group, Balfour Beatty, training providers, education awarding bodies and the Association for Project Management (APM) to develop the new and improved national project management apprenticeship.

Steve Livingstone, Sellafield Ltd’s Projects Director who has previously led Heathrow Airports “Terminal 2 : The Queen’s Terminal” project, commented: “We were honoured when we were selected as the lead employer to act on behalf of the UK government in supporting a national apprenticeship scheme associated with Project Management.

“Project management is the same in the nuclear industry as any other. Whether you work on an airport, a rail network or the Olympic games, the Project fundamentals are the same. The knowledge, skills and behaviours we apply when successful delivering projects are transferable to any sector and we use them every day at Sellafield.

“When paired with the new ‘The Project Academy’ developed by Sellafield Limited and the University of Cumbria, but available to all Third Parties, we continue to be honoured and proud of our lead role in the creation of the current and future generations of highly skilled project professionals for the UK.”

The new employer-designed apprenticeship standards must be short, easy to understand and able to describe the knowledge, skills and behaviour that an individual needs to be fully competent in an occupation.

This is the latest step in the government’s ‘Trailblazer ‘ scheme, and forms part of their plans to deliver three million new apprenticeships by 2020 by giving employers a greater say in designing high-quality apprenticeships that meet the needs of employers.