News story

Academy set to make Cumbria the hub for project professionals

A ground-breaking new academy will revolutionise the way people are trained to deliver projects at the Sellafield nuclear site.

Academy set to make Cumbria the hub for project professionals
Cumbria is set to be the hub for project professionals with the launch of a ground-breaking academy

Cumbria is set to be the hub for project professionals with the launch of a ground-breaking academy that will revolutionise the way people are trained to deliver projects at Sellafield.

The new ‘Project Academy for Sellafield’ will provide specialist education, training and professional qualifications necessary to deliver the complex and challenging projects associated with decommissioning Europe’s most complex nuclear site.

The academy is the brainchild of Sellafield Ltd and will be delivered by the University of Cumbria, which has won the multi-million pound contract to develop and provide a range of higher education programmes, from diplomas and degrees to masters and doctorates, which could make Cumbria the centre of project excellence for the UK.

Professor Peter Strike, Vice Chancellor of the University of Cumbria says:

This chance to develop our partnership with Sellafield and support their investment in their workforce is fantastic.

The University of Cumbria looks to meet the needs of the people and businesses of our region, our prime objectives being to provide our students with access to high quality education, and to support the development of their careers.

The Project Academy provides an outstanding opportunity to share our expertise and to develop effective and successful collaborations with other institutions and business.

It will be supported by the University of Manchester, one of the most prestigious ‘project’ education providers in the world and the first academic establishment to introduce higher education associated with project management.

By providing people with the skills to meet current and future needs of the industry, Sellafield Ltd is investing in the development of local people, while helping to address the growing demand for project professionals, not just for the nuclear industry, but for all industries UK and worldwide.

Steve Livingstone, newly appointed Projects Director for Sellafield Ltd said:

The Sellafield site is a hive of construction activity. Over the next few decades we need to build new facilities to bring the old ones down and this requires a range of specialist skills.

Sellafield Ltd has always provided pathways to education and training, but this academy is going to transform the way people train in many of the professions related to projects, from design, operations, and construction to health and safety, project management and leadership, while also allowing them to do this on their doorstep.

The academy has the backing of some of the region’s leading education providers relating to projects - Lakes College, Furness College and the Centre for Leadership Performance. This means it will enhance the local education infrastructure, making Cumbria the centre of project higher education.

It will not only enable employees to increase the depth of their knowledge in their chosen profession, but will also enable them to broaden their knowledge of other project-related professions through a range of training opportunities, from diplomas and degrees to masters and doctorates.

Mr Livingstone added:

We are proud to be the first in the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s estate to establish the kind of high quality, long-term education and training that the academy will provide, specifically aimed at project delivery. It will equip people with the education, skills and qualifications required to deliver the unique and complex projects, ensuring the site has the right people with the right skills delivering the UK nuclear decommissioning programme.

The first employees will commence their higher education with the academy in September 2016.

Published 26 April 2016