Babcock signs up to the Nuclear Skills Passport

Paul Boughton
Babcock, the UK’s largest nuclear site management, engineering and support services organisation, has committed to implementing the Nuclear Skills Passport (NSP) across its activities in the UK, supporting the National Skills Academy for Nuclear in the launch of the scheme.

Babcock’s managing director Nuclear, Roger Hardy, sealed the agreement in a meeting today (Thursday, 17th March) with the National Skills Academy Nuclear’s chief executive Jean Llewellyn, when he signed the NSP Company Charter.

With a workforce of some 3,500 skilled employees in the civil nuclear sector operating at all levels across tiers 1, 2 and 3, and with quality and safety paramount in every aspect of its work, staff training and development, and skills management, are a high priority for Babcock.  The company, which runs five UK nuclear licensed sites with capabilities spanning the full lifecycle from design and build, through operation and maintenance, to decommissioning and remediation, has an unrivalled pool of Suitably Qualified and Experienced Personnel (SQEP) resource covering a diverse range of science, management and engineering disciplines. 

The Nuclear Skills Passport is now being implemented across the nuclear industry. The system has strong industry support, which has been demonstrated by the specification of the NSP system by Skills Academy member organisations as highly desirable in tenders. Babcock was among the seven original participants in the NSP pilot scheme in 2010, and is one of the first to sign the NSP Company Charter.

The Nuclear Skills Passport is essentially a system offering nuclear organisations instant secure web access to information on the nuclear skills base, providing a detailed overview of the training completed by their workforce and, with permission, also by contracting organisations.  For contractors it provides a simple, highly secure means of supporting the demonstration of SQEP and skills excellence within a company’s workforce. It also aids transferability of its staff from one nuclear site to another, or from contract to contract, through the implementation of industry-agreed and cross-site recognised training standards.  Specifically designed to meet the requirements of the nuclear sector, the NSP is set to become an increasingly important key differentiator in contractor selection.

On signing the NSP Company Charter today, Roger Hardy said: “Babcock sees the Nuclear Skills Passport system as a business imperative for all our operations throughout the UK, and we wish to be proactive in supporting its implementation across the nuclear industry.  We place a very high value on the skill and quality of our workforce, and this system enables us to demonstrate this simply and effectively with ready access to records of our people’s specific training and qualifications.  A further key benefit will be to aid cost-effective mobility of our people around different sites, without having to complete repeat training for each site.  For the industry as a whole, we believe it will focus attention on up-skilling current workforce, encourage investment in staff training and development, and will contribute to developing and retaining the UK nuclear skills base.”

Jean Llewellyn said: “Babcock’s commitment, as one of the largest specialist nuclear support services organisations in the UK, is really important for the Skills Academy and clearly underlines the impact and value of the Nuclear Skills Passport in driving up standards across the whole UK nuclear industry.

“The Nuclear Skills Passport has been in planning for over three years.  The system has been designed in consultation with nuclear employers at every stage, ensuring it meets the unique requirements of the nuclear industry, and is inclusive of all the different subsectors.  The system will revolutionise the evidencing of nuclear skills and is key to the implementation of nuclear industry standards.  I would urge any organisation that is operating in, or wishes to operate in, the nuclear sector to get involved today by signing up to the Nuclear Skills Passport.”

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