Derby's Nuclear Skills Academy scoops national partnership award

6 April 2023

A partnership between the University of Derby and Rolls-Royce Submarines Ltd focused on developing nuclear skills and experts of the future has been recognised at a top industry awards ceremony.  

Together, the organisations scooped ‘Employer & Training Provider Partnership Award’ at the UK Nuclear Skills Awards 2023, held at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel in Manchester.  

The award recognises the strong partnership working between the two organisations, in particular the collaboration on the new Nuclear Skills Academy (NSA) in Derby, which opened its doors to 200 new apprentices in September 2022. 

Developed at pace, 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 at the start of their careers. It is supported by other industry experts, including the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, the National College for Nuclear and Derby City Council, ensuring apprentices have access to the best courses and mentors throughout their apprenticeship. 

The University has been instrumental in providing the nuclear apprenticeship pathways, and has worked to develop the facility and convert the building into classroom and digital learning spaces, along with industry-standard engineering workshops. 

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Derby, said:

“At Derby, we are committed to developing, training, empowering and supporting the next generation of game-changers, equipping them with the skills, experiences, resilience and curiosity to thrive and make a positive impact on the world.

“The Nuclear Skills Academy is a first of its kind, bringing together leading experts in industry and academia who are delivering skills for the future. We have a long-standing relationship with Rolls-Royce and are delighted that our approach to partnership working has been recognised through this award.”  

Lee Warren, Engineering & Technology Director at Rolls-Royce, and a former apprentice himself, said:

“The launch and delivery of our Nuclear Skills Academy has been a truly collaborative effort from the start. Receiving this prestigious award, around a year after we announced our intentions to launch a dedicated centre for nuclear education, is a testament to the strength of our partnerships and the pace with which we’ve brought it to life.

“The expertise and support from the University of Derby, and other NSA partners, have been invaluable and this is another step on the way to cementing Derby as the home of nuclear excellence.”   

Nuclear professionals gathered at the 15th annual UK Nuclear Skills Awards organised by NSAN (National Skills Academy Nuclear) and Cogent Skills, hosted by TV presenter Louise Minchin. The awards aim to highlight the excellence that exists within the nuclear sector and celebrate the nuclear stars of the present and future through several awards.  

Find out more about the Nuclear Skills Awards 2023. Learn more about the Nuclear Skills Academy

People in evening wear - suits and dresses - holding awards and smiling
L-R: Lee Warren, Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Stephanie Cook, Steve Layton, Dr Louise Richards, Chris Poulter, Andy Storer, Professor Warren Manning, TV presenter Louise Minchin.

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