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Cogent Sector Skills Council

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 1 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps the Cogent Sector Skills Council is taking to ensure that there is an adequate supply of people with the skills needed for the nuclear waste industries. (202632)

Cogent Sector Skills Council (SSC) works with employers to ensure that the nuclear industry’s skill requirements are met.

Cogent has a sector skills agreement (SSA) with the nuclear industry, Government, trade unions and other stakeholders. This identifies the skills needs of the sector and the recruitment, training and education solutions needed to address skills gaps. One important solution is the launch of the National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN). NSAN is a subsidiary company of Cogent and, responding to employer demand in the sector, its focus is UK-wide with responsibilities for assuring training provision to agreed standards.

To address the specific skill needs of the nuclear waste industry, Cogent is working closely with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the National Skills Academy for Nuclear and employers. The initiatives include a web-based career pathways service and development of apprenticeship/modern apprenticeship frameworks, a nuclear industry training framework and national occupational standards along with the associated Scottish/national vocational qualifications, and foundation degrees. The career pathways scope the skills to deal with current nuclear waste volumes and the requirements of a future national nuclear waste repository.

Through the Alliance of SSCs, Cogent works with related SSCs as well as with other skills bodies, such as the Engineering Construction Industry Trade Board, to ensure the full range of skills required to deal with nuclear waste are available.