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2 minute read - 29th September 2022

Rolls-Royce Submarines opens Nuclear Skills Academy in Derby

Rolls-Royce Submarines has opened the doors of its new Nuclear Skills Academy in Derby, where 200 new apprentices have started their nuclear careers. The academy is the first of its kind and aims to sustain nuclear capability within the UK’s submarines programme by creating a dedicated pipeline of talent.

The Nuclear Skills Academy is supported by industry and education experts, including the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, the National College for Nuclear, the University of Derby and Derby City Council. This ensures new apprentices have access to the best courses and mentors throughout their apprenticeship.

Rolls-Royce announced its plans for the Nuclear Skills Academy in May 2022 to huge interest from across the UK. With more than 1,200 applicants for only 200 places in its 2022-23 academic year, the company said it had been a tough job to narrow down the successful candidates. For 60 years, Rolls-Royce has provided the power for all of the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines from its base in Raynesway, Derby.

Rolls-Royce Submarines has opened its new Nuclear Skills Academy in Derby, where 200 apprentices have just started their nuclear careers / Picture: Rolls-Royce

Steve Carlier, president of Rolls-Royce Submarines, said: “We are thrilled by the levels of interest in these apprenticeships, and it highlights how attractive a career in the nuclear sector really is. With the growing demand for clean, carbon-free energy and with our submarines contracts with the MoD likely to sustain us into the next century, this could be a job for life for our new apprentices.

“Having started with Rolls-Royce as an apprentice myself and being born and bred in Derby, the launch of the Nuclear Skills Academy is especially exciting for me. I’m delighted that we are leading the way in developing nuclear talent for the submarines enterprise and proud that it will all be done in Derby.”

The Nuclear Skills Academy has the funding to provide 200 apprentices each year with nuclear education across four different courses for at least the next 10 years. The support of key industry organisations in driving the project forward has been invaluable for Rolls-Royce.

Andrew Storer from the Nuclear AMRC, added: “We need to work together to tackle skills shortages which affect the whole nuclear sector. The organisations backing the Nuclear Skills Academy will ensure that apprentices have the best training and support and develop the skills to deliver the UK’s commitments for low-carbon power and national security. As a former Derby apprentice, I am very proud that we are helping set a new standard for training which could be rolled out across the sector.”

The apprenticeships are spread across all functions of the business including engineering, manufacturing and business. They provide fully funded, further and higher education qualifications, while the apprentices receive hands-on practical work experience within the business. Each of the courses are accredited through the University of Derby and National College for Nuclear.

Applications for 2023-24 academic intake will be opening from October 2022.

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