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Southern Hub wins innovation award

Posted on 04 May 2019 and read 1147 times
Southern Hub wins innovation awardBridgwater and Taunton College’s National College for Nuclear (NCfN) Southern Hub has seen off competition from big multi-nationals to win a top award for its use of cutting-edge technology.

The college team (www.btc.ac.uk) won the Skills Innovation of the Year category at the Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance (Semta) Skills Awards, beating teams from Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota Manufacturing.

The Skills Innovation of the Year category looked at the ways in which organisations have harnessed the latest technologies to improve the delivery of skills training and the positive impact this has had on the workforce.

The college’s entry detailed the innovative work it is carrying out to address the urgent need for large numbers of skilled technicians to deliver the UK’s civil nuclear programme.

Recognising that unskilled and unqualified staff cannot practice in a live nuclear power plant, the college has used virtual-reality simulation to recreate a ‘live’ installation within the NCfN, meaning that those new to the sector — or considering a career in nuclear — can see what the inside of a nuclear power plant looks like.

Working in teams on ‘live’ work-based projects, they assimilate and practice new skills in complete safety, while also coming to understand the protocols and behaviours that are so important to nuclear safety.

This technology was previously only available to those already working in nuclear, and the potential benefits are vast.

It can be replicated many times, and the college is already supporting other colleges with proposed nuclear developments on their doorstep.