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Government pledges £15m to new nuclear training facilities

The government will invest £15m to construct two new nuclear training facilities in Somerset and West Cumbria.

The two centres make up the government’s National Nuclear College, which is expected to train more than 7,000 new workers by 2020.

The West Cumbrian training centre will be located at Workington’s Lakes College near the Sellafield nuclear decommissioning site.

The Somerset facility will be built at Bridgwater College just a few miles away from the proposed Hinkley Point C plant.

The investment will pave the way for construction to begin, with the centres expected to be fully operational by late 2017.

Sellafield and EDF will work closely with the Lakes and Bridgwater colleges as well as the local universities to help provide training.

The two hubs will include a reactor simulator and virtual reality engineering technology.

The South West Local Enterprise Partnership is also investing £3m to the Somerset centre, with Bridgwater College providing an extra £4.5m.

The £15m investment is part of an £80m fund to support the creation of four other sector-specific colleges across the UK, covering high-speed rail, digital skills and onshore oil and gas.

The National College for High Speed Rail has already received £40m from the government for two centres in Doncaster and Birmingham. Construction will begin this week.

Skills minister Nick Boles said: “This is the investment in high-tech skills that businesses are crying out for.

“We have made it a priority to work with employers to deliver high-quality, technical education and clear routes to employment that deliver economic growth and create opportunities for our young people, and enable our existing workforce to upskill and retrain for the jobs of the future.

“The National Colleges have been designed with employers, for employers.

“They will produce the skills needed now and into the future to ensure the UK remains innovative and at the forefront of pioneering industry.”

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