Apprenticeships for the next generation of nuclear engineers


EDF Energy, one of the UK’s largest energy companies, wanted to improve its apprentice training provision for its nuclear engineering maintenance workforce.

Charged with keeping nuclear power stations running, employees need to combine technical skills with life skills to develop the behaviours and cultures expected of an EDF Energy nuclear professional.

EDF Energy was looking to offer a standardised apprentice programme across its power stations that would provide apprentices with the tools, attitudes and behaviours to ensure that safety is their overriding priority.

Training had to take place in a safe and secure environment with accompanying living accommodation for apprentices.

A fully-managed programme

Working with EDF Energy, we provide a fully-managed service, offering a full-time, residential Advanced Apprenticeship Programme at the Babcock Engineering Academy at HMS Sultan, Gosport, Hampshire – one of the largest dedicated engineering training facilities in Europe – along with residential quarters, where apprentices live and learn for the first two years of the programme.

During their time in Hampshire, apprentices complete their NVQ Level 2 Performing Engineering Operations and their BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Engineering, combining technical engineering training with a comprehensive life skills programme.

We design and quality assure all elements of the Advanced Apprenticeship Programme and deliver 26,000 delegate days annually, with a further 7,000 delegate days of sport and leisure provision.

We have invested heavily in training rigs which replicate the work, components and systems found on a nuclear power station, to make sure the course is as effective as possible. The Academy is meticulously designed to replicate the working environment as far as possible, including safety procedures and operational ways of working, such that the organisational culture and values of EDF Energy are built into the programme and apprentices go back to their station as work ready nuclear professionals with both technical skills and the right behaviours.

In years three and four, the programme continues at one of EDF Energy’s power stations. By the time they complete the course, students will have gained an NVQ Level 3 in Engineering and an Advanced Modern Apprenticeship Certificate of Engineering, and can expect to be offered a Maintenance Technician role.

Designed to meet the nuclear energy industry’s individual and exacting standards, the course ensures EDF Energy’s future technicians are fully equipped to maintain the wide range of equipment and emerging technology which is key to their power generation ability.

Throughout the apprentices’ time with Babcock, they also benefit from a holistic Life Skills development programme, supporting them in the early stages of their career. This includes social and cultural experiences, sports and recreation activity, and involvement in charitable work in the local community

Key facts:

  • Rated Grade 1 by Ofsted
  • 100% apprenticeship completion success rate 2016/17
  • Delivering 26,000 delegate training days each year
  • Providing an additional 7,000 delegate days of sport and leisure

"If you are in need of inspiration visit the Babcock Engineering Academy."