The National Skills Academy for Nuclear is celebrating its 10th anniversary throughout 2017. Formally approved by government on the 24th September 2007, NSAN was established by nuclear employers and government to address the key skills challenges facing the nuclear programme.
NSAN has spent the past decade working with employers, training providers and wider strategic partners, including representatives of three successive governments and the Devolved Administrations in Wales and Scotland. During this time the ‘skills landscape’ has evolved dramatically. NSAN has proven itself to be a dynamic organisation, able to quickly and effectively respond to the needs of the industry. Throughout all of this change, NSAN’s focus, as a membership organisation, has always been to be led by, and to deliver benefits to our members.
Towards the end of 2016, NSAN’s independent evaluators, Skyblue, produced an assessment of the first 9 years of NSAN. The report ‘The Value of a Long Term Relationship with the National Skills Academy for Nuclear’ explores the high value return on investment that members have gained through:
- Helping our members to win business
- Providing members with valuable insight into the sector
- Helping businesses to upskill their workforce
- Providing networking opportunities
- Providing funding for skills for nuclear.
This evaluation features a number of case studies produced with companies that show that members (both employers and providers) of NSAN have gained a return on their investment ratio of between £1.75 to £7.60 per £1 investment made through membership fee.
The benefits that NSAN delivers to its members is not solely financial. NSAN has had an important role in bringing employers together to provide solutions to sector skills challenges. One of the greatest impacts identified in the evaluation is that 77% of employer members value NSAN’s ability to provide them with a forum to collaborate on addressing capacity and capability issues with members of the industry. Over the past decade through the collaborative approach enabled by NSAN, a number of sector specific services and products have been developed including the NS4P, Triple Bar Programme, Brokerage programmes, Bursaries, CPD development and the industry On-line Learning Platform - NTN to name but a few. Throughout 2017 NSAN will be releasing highlight articles to showcase the developments and step change to the skills for nuclear agenda that has been brought about through this unique industry led initiative.
Shirley Wilson, HR Manager, Darchem Engineering:
“We were trying to develop future business growth in the nuclear industry. NSAN could provide us with some essential requirements. The NS4P, Triple Bar Training and also the expertise and knowledge about what we need to do to be ready as part of the supply chain. A lot of our information about expectations of the supply chain comes from NSAN, as does added value such as putting us in touch with potential providers to cover any skills gaps we might identify.”
NSAN’s role in Trailblazer Apprenticeships has been particularly praised by employers and strategic partners during NSAN’s evaluation.
One member describes how working with NSAN has enabled them to engage with the evolving Apprenticeship agenda:
“I went to a meeting in London about 18 months ago and someone from BIS was talking about Trailblazer Apprenticeships. I hadn’t heard of them. At the next meeting with NSAN I mentioned that we have apprentices on craft and fabrication frameworks and it looked like those weren’t going to be there post 2017, we’d have nothing to put our people on.
NSAN put me in touch with the Design and Drafting Trailblazer group. We’re now taking a lead particularly around the structural stream. It’s been a massive benefit.
Without NSAN giving us that lead we’d not have heard about it until 2017 and we’d have been stuck with a standard we didn’t necessarily own. Instead we know it’s fit for purpose. It’s probably saved our post 2017 apprenticeship programme.”
NSAN has played a major role in developing solutions for the skills requirements for the nuclear industry. By placing employers at the forefront of the agenda, NSAN has enabled skills development for the nuclear industry, by the nuclear industry.