Atkins is to start using its nuclear academy to train staff from other consultants and contractors.
The consultant will put up to 100 staff per year through courses ranging from a basic introduction to the nuclear industry through to the design of fuel storage.
The move comes on the back of a report by nuclear skills body Cogent which estimates that 1,000 new nuclear engineers must be trained every year until 2025 to maintain and decommission Britain’s existing nuclear infrastructure, on top of skills for any new nuclear build.
Atkins’ director of nuclear Chris Ball said only certain companies would be invited to send staff.
“There is a lot of focus on the ability to keep skills alive and move people into new build.”
Chris Ball, Atkins
“Companies we are happy to provide training for are those dedicated to the success of nuclear and those who want to work with Atkins, not bid against,” he said. Ball said the academy would not be used to poach non-Atkins staff. “That is something we steer clear of,” he said.
Ball said Atkins was trying to maintain a level of nuclear expertise in staff, even if they do not currently work in nuclear.
“We have experience on the design of projects in defence, decommissioning and new projects. We have something like 1,800 trained nuclear engineers across the business but not all are active in nuclear.
“There is a lot of focus on the ability to keep skills alive and move people into new build,” he said. The move could significantly expand the Atkins academy, so it handles between 200 and 250 people per year.