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Learning and Skills Council

Volume 712: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps the Learning and Skills Council is taking to ensure there are sufficient skills and manpower to deliver their new nuclear programme and their renewable energy target of 15 per cent by 2020. [HL4340]

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and its future successor body, the Skills Funding Agency, has an important role in responding to the skill needs of the nuclear industry over the coming years. The LSC is working closely with Cogent, the sector skills council responsible for the nuclear sector, to respond to skill needs identified by employers. LSC has also committed to £3.8 million development funding for establishing the National Skills Academy for Nuclear, which, with strong employer-backing, is active in developing and promoting skills and helping ensure the capacity to deliver skills across the nuclear sector. This includes the new Energus Centre in West Cumbria, with £3.5 million capital funding from LSC.

The Skills Academy is developing a number of important initiatives, including a community apprenticeship programme, which will support small and medium-sized firms in the supply chain which take on new and additional apprenticeships; and the nuclear skills passport, to promote mobility and demonstrate supply chain quality and capability.

The Skills Academy and Cogent are currently leading a detailed review of the future skills implications of the nuclear new build, supported by the Office for Nuclear Development (OND) within the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and by this department. This analysis will provide important data for the Government and their agencies, including the LSC and future Skills Funding Agency. It will also help drive the new Skills Academy's new five-year strategic plan of actions to be taken to ensure there is a suitably skilled, competent and safe workforce to meet these new challenges.