A £7.5 million National College for Nuclear, based in Lillyhall, is due to open today.
The college will train thousands of technicians and engineers to support Britain’s future nuclear programmes, create cleaner energy and provide a highly skilled workforce.
The National College for Nuclear will have virtual, simulated laboratories, helping to prepare students for the workplace from its training hubs in Cumbria and Somerset.
It is one of five national colleges being established by government to ensure the UK has skilled people in industries crucial to economic growth. This includes high speed rail, onshore oil and gas, digital skills and the creative industries and nuclear.
The nuclear sector will see the development of 12 new reactors across five sites in the future, with around 6,000 people each year needed for technical and professional roles.
Anne Milton, apprenticeships and skills minister, said: "This college will provide our nuclear industry with the highly skilled engineers, scientists, technicians it needs to grow – as well as giving more people the opportunities they need to get on in today’s competitive job market."
Sellafield Ltd and EDF Energy will work alongside the University of Cumbria and the University of Bristol to train up to 3,500 learners by 2020.
Colin Reed, chairman of the National College for Nuclear, said: "The journey to this point has been challenging and rewarding.
"From this start we are poised to grow to meet the challenge of nuclear skills in the years to come, both in student numbers at the existing hubs and also as we add further training deliverers at other locations to support the national demand."
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