Opinion Former Article

Cogent: Nuclear bursary programme offers awards up to £4,000

The National Skills Academy for Nuclear in partnership with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Serco are rolling out a second round of their Bursary award scheme.

The scheme is aimed at quality individuals on programmes of study relevant to the Nuclear industry, and includes Foundation Degrees, Honours Degrees and Masters Degrees. The programme provides financial support to students. It aims to attract a broader mix of new entrants into the Nuclear industry and into the wider Science and Technology agenda, leading to increased diversity and opportunity in the sector.

Twenty Six students across the UK were successful in their Bursary application in May of this year;

Andrew Doyle was successful in his application and is currently studying a Foundation Degree, at Lakes College.

"Foremost the bursary is a massive help in securing my place on the 2nd year of my University programme. As a mature student living alone the financial demands upon me are great. I am solely responsible for my rent and other household bills, which are steadily increasing. The bursary is a massive help in ensuring my rent is paid and that I am able to attend college every week by putting petrol in my car.

The bursary will also help me purchase course equipment such as printer ink, stationary and computer equipment to help me complete my course to the standards required. I can not stress enough how the National Skills Academy for Nuclear, along with the NDA and Serco are helping me by providing me with this bursary. The bursary means I can worry less about the financial implications I have previously had being a student."

The value of the award is determined by the strength and relevance of the applicant in fulfilling the aims of the programme. The awards given are in the region of £500 - £4,000, and are dependant on effectively fulfilling the application criteria.

Decisions on applications will be made via a panel which will include representatives from the National Skills Academy for Nuclear, NDA, Serco and Higher Education Institution representation.

Applications will be accepted from individuals, these can be supported by employers and Higher Education Institutions. The application form is available for download from the National Skills Academy for Nuclear's website www.nuclear.nsacademy.co.uk.

All forms are to be received by the Skills Academy no later than 5pm on the 17 October 2008. Applications are welcome from both new students' and students' part way through their course.

Jean Llewellyn Chief Executive of the National Skills Academy Nuclear said:

"I am very pleased to be able to offer a second round of this bursary award Scheme. The applications received in the first round were of very high quality, and highlighted the need for further roll out of this much needed bursary scheme. The scheme is funded by the NDA and Serco, demonstrating employer commitment to the future needs and requirements of this industry."

Nigel Couzens, National Skills and Capabilities Manager at the NDA said:

"The NDA's grant of £50,000 will enable a significant number of awards to be made. It is crucial to our mission that we encourage and develop the right people and skills to meet the future needs of our industry. The nuclear sector holds exciting challenges and rewarding opportunities and support schemes like this will play an important role in attracting quality individuals."

Bob McGuiness, Chief Executive of Serco's Defence Science and Technology Division, said

"The nuclear industry in the UK is facing many challenges and the availability of the right qualified people is vital for its future. Serco is committed to investing in the skills the training and development of the right people for the industry and are delighted to support the National Skills Academy for Nuclear's bursary award scheme."

Notes to editors

1. The National Skills Academy network will be the new gold standard for industry training, aiming to improve productivity and tackle skills shortages across England. Each National Skills Academy puts employers at the heart of skills training for their sector: they influence the curriculum to ensure it reflects employers' needs; get involved in the Academy's management; set standards and influence strategic direction.

National Skills Academies aim to:

  • deliver high quality training for a specific sector
  • provide first-class teaching in a modern learning environment
  • be centres of innovation and creativity in skills development for their sector
  • be flexible, sustaining the closest possible relationships with employers of all sizes
  • build specialist networks with a range of other learning providers, so that new thinking, new methods and higher standards are shared, to the benefit of learners and employers.

The National Skills Academy network was initiated by the Government to address the need for a world class workforce with better skills than ever before. It is managed by the Learning and Skills Council working in partnership with the Department for Innovation Universities and Skills, (DIUS), the Sector Skills Development Agency and the Department for Business, Enterprise, and Regulatory Reform, (DBERR).

For more information see: www.nationalskillsacademy.co.uk

All queries on this press release should be made in the first instance to Mary Kinsella, Communications Manager, National Skills Academy for Nuclear 01925 607044 or m.kinsella@nuclear.nsacademy.co.uk.

2. The National Skills Academy for Nuclear is an wholly owned subsidiary of Cogent Sector Skills Council. 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 and is working with them to create a skills environment that businesses need to be innovative, competent, productive and sustainable.

www.cogent-ssc.com

For further information contact: Judith Cowan on 01925 515 214 judith.cowan@cogent-ssc.com or Mervin Dadd on 01925 515 212 mervin.dadd@cogent.ssc.com

3. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is a non-departmental government body established in April 2005 to over see the clean-up and decommissioning of the UK's civil public sector nuclear legacy. For further information contact Brian Hough, Communications Manager on 01925 802177, brian.hough@nda.gov.uk

Serco
4. Serco is an international service company which combines commercial know-how with a deep public service ethos. Serco's people offer operational, management and consulting expertise in the aerospace, defence, education, health, home affairs, local government, science, technology, transport and nuclear sectors. With a turnover of more than £2.5bn, Serco has more than 45,000 employees delivering more than 600 contracts in 35 countries for government and commercial clients, Serco has had an integral role in the UK civil and defence nuclear industries for the past 50 years.

Since 2000 Serco has been entrusted with the management of the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment, which provides the warheads for the UK's independent nuclear deterrent. Serco's assurance business provides specialist technical support to the UK nuclear industry. It provides expert safety, environmental, risk and asset management advice and operational solutions to many of the UK's civil nuclear.

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