Rolls-Royce is creating a new Nuclear Skills Academy to develop manufacturing expertise for the UK submarines programme, with support from the Nuclear AMRC.
As well as the new training centre in Derby, Rolls-Royce’s submarine propulsion business is creating 200 new apprenticeships every year for at least the next 10 years.
The new Nuclear Skills Academy will be supported by industry and education experts, including the Nuclear AMRC, the National College for Nuclear, the University of Derby and Derby City Council. This ensures new apprentices will have access to the best courses and mentors throughout their apprenticeship.
“We are proud of our unique nuclear capability, and we are fortunate enough to have some of the smartest minds on the planet working for us,” said Steve Carlier, president for submarines at Rolls-Royce. “But we must maintain this capability if we want to continue to innovate and evolve.
“Being born and bred in Derby, I am immensely proud that we are playing our part in further boosting the area’s reputation for engineering excellence. The UK is embarking on a nuclear renaissance and we are determined to make the East Midlands the home of nuclear expertise for decades to come.”
For the past 60 years, Rolls-Royce has provided the power for all of the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines from its base in Raynesway, Derby. The training announcement came as the Ministry of Defence announced more than £2 billion of contracts for BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce to begin the third major phase of the Dreadnought submarine programme.
“We’re very excited to support this new resource for Rolls-Royce’s submarines business, which shows the value of our growing presence in Derby,” commented Andrew Storer, CEO of the Nuclear AMRC. “With the next phase of the UK’s Dreadnought nuclear submarine programme now starting, it’s recognised that there are significant skills shortages across the sector. We’re pleased to be partnering with Rolls-Royce, the National College for Nuclear and the University of Derby to ensure that young apprentices can be trained, and mid-career professionals can develop new skills, for rewarding new jobs in the defence sector.
“After launching the submarines programme later this year, we hope we can make a similar intervention for the broader nuclear sector and in other low-carbon energy industries, where there’s also a shortage of skilled people along the supply chain.”
The new Rolls-Royce apprenticeships will be spread across four courses: Nuclear Engineering Degree Apprenticeship, Business Degree Apprenticeship, Nuclear Engineering Technician Apprenticeship, and Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship.
“All four courses offer debt-free, higher education qualifications while earning a wage within an exciting and growing business that supports the UK’s net carbon ambitions,” said Lee Warren, submarines engineering and technology director at Rolls-Royce. “Our new Academy will not only maintain and develop our nuclear capability for years to come, but it will also provide invaluable STEM qualifications for hundreds of individuals at the very start of their careers.”
Update 26 May: Derby City Council has confirmed that the Nuclear Skills Academy will be based at iHub, Infinity Park.