Bridgwater and Taunton College & EDF Energy

The College

Activate Learning

Bridgwater & Taunton College is in Somerset, in the South West of England, and has over 20,000 full and part-time students.

It has strategically placed itself at the forefront of technical and professional training to support businesses, creating outstanding progression opportunities for its students, customers and communities through forward-thinking practice and partnerships with employers.

The Employer

EDF Energy is the UK’s biggest producer of low-carbon electricity, the largest supplier of electricity by volume and main supplier to businesses. Its operations span from electricity generation to the sale of gas and electricity to homes and businesses.

It employs over 13,300 people and handles 5.7 million customer accounts across the country.

The Partnership

The partnership between Bridgwater & Taunton College and EDF Energy was established 10 years ago to map and deliver the workforce requirement for the new nuclear power station under construction at Hinkley Point C.

Via collaborative working and joint investment in skills training, they are creating a sustainable legacy of skills training for nuclear that will act as a blueprint for future nuclear new builds, driving down construction costs and, ultimately, the price of electricity for consumers.

The Benefits

The College is EDF Energy’s training provider of choice for the South West. Their financial investment has enabled the College to create bespoke training environments and curricula for civil nuclear, including an £8m Energy Skills Centre and a £2m Construction Skills and Innovation Centre, both providing ‘live’ work environments to support practical skills training. These early investments have enabled the College to move towards ever-more sophisticated training facilities and equipment that align to new and emerging technologies in aerospace, nuclear, welding and composites, including a £6 million Advanced Engineering Centre and culminating in the 2016 award of the southern hub of the National College for Nuclear (NCfN), a joint venture between the College, EDF Energy and Bristol University.

The College’s facilities and courses have been designed in partnership with EDF Energy and its nuclear supply chain to ensure they meet industry requirements and equip learners with the skills they need for a fast track, successful career in the nuclear sector. Since 2014/15, the College has seen a 53% growth in Engineering Apprentice numbers, and a 16% growth in full-time Engineering students and - thanks to this partnership - learners are benefitting from an unprecedented level of opportunity in terms of employment, career progression and work experience with some of the largest blue-chip organisations in the world.

Bridgwater & Taunton College has developed a deep and clear understanding of EDF Energy’s skills training needs and is working closely with them to develop a blueprint that they can take forward to future nuclear new builds. It is operating at front and centre of strategic investment in the creation of a sustainable, continuous nuclear training pathway for the South West region, whilst also supporting the UK’s nuclear renaissance. EDF Energy continue to actively promote the College to its supply chain and beyond with Nuclear Development Managing Director, Humphrey Cadoux- Hudson saying:

“EDF Energy has a long and successful track record of working with further and higher education colleges to develop the skills it needs in its existing and planned nuclear power stations. Our partnership with the College dates back almost ten years, during which time I have seen at first hand their ability to interpret and respond to the skills demand for HPC in a way that is innovative, agile and effective. They understand our needs and our culture, and as the partnership goes from strength to strength are very much our South West training provider of choice going forward.”

What they say

Hear first hand from colleges and employers about their experiences.

Working with Bridgwater & Taunton College we have been able to revamp what was already a very successful programme, looking at the technical side of the training as well as the life skills we offer during the apprentices’ two years at the College.

The training, led by the College team, will be within the ultramodern, government flagship National College for Nuclear, Southern Hub in Cannington, Somerset, with unprecedented access to EDF Energy’s prestigious ‘Campus’ training facility. EDF Energy’s talent pool of young apprentices will develop knowledge and skills to form a world-class, highly trained team of professional maintenance and operations engineering technicians both at Hinkley Point C and also the company’s operational power stations.

David Youles, Training Standards and Projects Manager at EDF Energy plc.

EDF Energy has invested in us as a key training provider for their nuclear generation, operation and decommissioning fleet, safe in the knowledge that we have the capacity and capability to deliver a first-class training offer.

Our work with EDF Energy over the years has enabled us to develop a deep understanding of what makes nuclear special, and we’re thrilled that young people from Somerset have the opportunity to be at the very forefront of this incredibly exciting project.

We thank EDF Energy for their commitment to the College, and very much look forward to a close, effective and enduring partnership.

Andy Berry, Principal and CEO at Bridgwater & Taunton College

Want to know more?

For a collection of all the great case studies featured as part of the campaign, please check out our employer engagement prospects.

We’d also love to hear from employer about how Collab Group colleges can work with you to help fill your business needs.