Opinion Former Article

Cogent: Ian Williams receives top honour for Leadership in Nuclear Skills

Ian Williams, Apprentice Training Manager for British Energy's residential apprenticeship, has received the second Cogent SSC Award for Outstanding Leadership in Skills.

Cogent is the national skills council for the nuclear industry. The prestigious Award was one of several handed out at an Awards Dinner held by The National Skills Academy for Nuclear and Cogent SSC, on February 12th.

At this high profile event, employers and stakeholders come together to celebrate skills through a number of key awards. These include The Skills Academy's UK-wide Apprenticeship and Foundation Degree Student Awards.

The Cogent Outstanding Leadership in Skills Award recognises an individual who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to ensuring that the UK nuclear sector has the skills it needs to continue to be a world-class industry.

The judges were looking for someone who had gone beyond their job description and who had innovated and contributed at both a national and community level.

Once again, Cogent received many deserving nominations for the Outstanding Leadership Award and the Judges were challenged to find just one winner. The highly impressive entries ranged from the voluntary through to vocational and higher education programmes.

Ian Williams, went above and beyond the criteria. Under Ian's stewardship, in just over 2 years, the residential apprenticeship programme has increased from a few apprentices to over 106, and it's projected to grow by over 50 % this year. Success is down to Ian's enthusiasm and his hard work to link myriad aspects of the programme - from managing training providers right through to handling the PR.

Ian provides 24/7 support for the apprentices, their parents and the BE Stations. He runs a wide ranging scheme which includes elements of NVQs, Foundation Degrees, and even the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

Indeed everything is takes to become a nuclear professional.

Cogent CEO, Joanna Woolf said: "Ian deserves this Award, it reflects both his commitment to developing technically competent apprentices as well as nuclear professionals and rounded citizens. Ian's energy and dedication to making the scheme a success is ensuring we get the skilled young people we need coming into this vital industry".

National Skills Academy for Nuclear Chief Executive, Jean Llewellyn added: "The Skills Academy would like to congratulate Ian on his achievement. This important award highlights the activities of people who go beyond the call of duty to raise the skills levels within their organisations. Individuals like Ian are essential in aiding to ensure a flow of highly qualified, and highly motivated people into industry."

About British Energy Apprenticeship Scheme

BE's modern apprenticeship scheme is a four year programme which not only focuses on the skills required to maintain nuclear power stations, but also the attitudes and behaviours that are essential for the safe operation of its plants. The first two years of the programme are spent at the Royal Navy bases at HMS Sultan and Collingwood, nr Portsmouth, Hampshire. The academic and workshop training programme ensures each apprentice gains the necessary introduction to engineering. Part of the programme also covers the development of skills in confidence and communication - every apprentice is enrolled on the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme to give you the opportunity to challenge themselves and experience new things.

About Cogent

Cogent is the sector skills council for the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, nuclear, oil and gas, petroleum and polymer industries. It is the voice of employers in these sectors, develops the qualifications and standards and is working with employers to create a skills environment that businesses need to be innovative, competent, productive and sustainable.

Cogent currently represents the interests of more than 20,000 businesses employing around 900,000 people. Since its creation it has been building on existing partnerships at regional and national level to drive forward the skills agenda in its science-using footprint.

For more on what we offer go to: www.cogent-ssc.com

About The National Skills Academy for Nuclear

The National Skills Academy for Nuclear, a subsidiary of Cogent SSC, has been established to create, develop and promote world class skills and career pathways to support a sustainable future for the UK Nuclear Industry. The Skills Academy puts employers at the forefront of skills development, by providing a means for hands-on involvement in the design and delivery of learning, so that training is tailored to the specific needs of the nuclear sector. Launched in January 2008 the Skills Academy is working with employers and quality assured training providers to address the current and future skills challenges facing the nuclear industry.

A high resolution photograph of Ian Williams is available upon request


For further information contact:

Judith Holcroft on 01925 515 215


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