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					NOTES OF
SOUTH WEST NUCLEAR EMPLOYER FORUM
MEETING AT DML KEYNSHAM – 26 JANUARY 2005

Present were:

Tub Aves                DML Devonport
Dave Clarke             Jacobs Babtie, Exeter
Matthew French          Fathoms Ltd, Langport
Martyn Pratt            Magnox: Oldbury Power Station
Clive Smith             Ministry of Defence, Abbeywood
Martin Cross            Mott MacDonald, Bristol
Tony Coverdale          NNC Ltd, Gloucester
Nigel Smith             SERCO Assurance, Winfrith
Graham Dale             UKAEA, Winfrith
Alun Roberts            Weir Strachan & Henshaw, Bristol
Brian Cooper            UK Trade & Invest, Somerset & Dorset
Bob Chappell            Cogent SSC          Chairman
John Haddon             Cogent SSC           Secretary

1.    Welcome, introductions and objectives for the meeting
Tub Aves welcomed the group to DML offices at Keynsham.

Bob Chappell, Chairman, asked for the meeting to be open and interactive.
This was a strong representative group and could speak louder than the
individual voices. He thanked Tub Aves for the facility. There were several
apologies for absence.

Introducing Cogent as SSC for 5 industries, he said that all Cogent’s remit was
for engineering and technology based industries. Attracting young people was a
common difficulty for all of Cogent’s sectors. Cogent is owned by the industries in
its footprint and works with employers for business improvement and
development of people.

Competence
A discussion ensued about competence frameworks. MOD takes a strong
position of leadership at the head of the Defence Group supply chain to ensure
availability of skills. UKAEA is changing towards a competence framework,
driven by the need for a better approach to SQEP than previously.

Improvement of the industry approach could be achieved if there were common
standards or even just a common language among the licensees. How to
simplify/standardise?

Industry Passports had been considered by a recent working group, which
decided not to recommend new nuclear site passports, but to assess the
relevance of existing ones. Nuclear requirements would continue to be met by
local training at each site.
Transfer of personnel between civil and military employers could be eased by an
assessment of levels of authority for roles between different clients.

Tertiary Education
The effects of the focus of attention on the NDA in the North West were
considered a threat to tertiary education in the South.

Comments received from one apologist were supportive of this view:
I agree that the SW seems to have been forgotten in the race to W Cumbria. I would also add
that we should not forget the major nuclear site at Winfrith, Dorset, which is currently being
decommissioned and the site progressively released for commercial development. I would ask
that at the meeting you raise this location as an area requiring SWDA support.

2.       Summary of conclusions of first meeting and actions arising

The conclusions of the first meeting of SW NEF on 6 April 04 were reviewed.
Points made at the meeting were:
     •   Changing Market:: operations to decommissioning and environmental restoration
     •   Defence continuing in a modern world
     •   Difficult to attract people into the cleanup industry
     •   New challenges need retraining
     •   Project management skills to be developed
     •   Exchange between companies and industries would be desirable
     •   Major world market potential demands UK partnerships.
Much had happened in the industry nationally and in the region since last April.

The Chairman said that these messages were taken into the SW RDA in several
meetings – the latest early Jan this year. SW RDA is now starting to recognise the value
of the industry – this is a precondition for getting SWRDA support for the industry, in
particular funding for personal development, training, retraining etc.

SWRDA’s Advanced Engineering objective is our best bet and the responsible manager,
Graham Harrison, was responding well although unable to be present this day. Once the
message from employers was clearer, it would be valuable to address him with it.


3.    SWRDA Regional Plan and update
The Chairman gave a short presentation about the regional plan and the
SWESA. Cogent’s objectives chime well with the SWESA’s approach to skills
and we are represented on the Skills for Business Network (SfBN) in the region.
Cogent has particular interests in nuclear and in polymers in the region. The
AESP (Advanced Engineering Skills Programme) was relevant to nuclear
employers.

The SW region has the lowest exports ratio in the UK.

The Chairman said that nuclear is now on the SWRDA map and we need to
capitalise on this situation. Cogent had pointed out the high level objectives of
the industry, the essential nature of activities and low public profile. The
challenge for higher level occupations (including the need to retain graduates) in
the region, was emphasised. The technologies in use in decomm and cleanup
   • Robotics
  • Waste treatment processes
  • Effluent treatment
  • Decontamination
  • Radiation protection
  • Environmental protection
And so on had been described and attracted some attention.

However, DML had approached SW RDA for funding of training and had been
turned down. The criteria of Advanced Engineering, postgraduate training and
high level skills were met, but the application failed because it did not meet the
hurdle of supporting disadvantaged groups.

Two major employers said that numeracy and literacy skills were poor among
candidates, even those with 2:1 Hons degrees. DML tests candidates on these
skills. This point could be taken up by Cogent on behalf of the employers.

Action: to find a way to put the point about literacy and numeracy to the HE
world.

4.     NDA impact on the region
There was a brief discussion about the impact of NDA work as part of the
industry’s impact on the region. The value of NDA works in the region is in
excess of £100M pa. For the NDA decommissioning programme, it was felt
that there are many unknowns: will the solutions be High Tec, or people
intensive – the US approach. If the later, the market would be open to
expansion countries and the work might be done by Estonians, under US
leadership. However, the local community would want to see locals doing the
work.

5.      Key business issues for the industry in the region
The meeting broke into two Groups to consider this point and report back. The
following issues were listed:

      New build at Hinkley Point C would be an opportunity for the industry
      Defending Tertiary Education in the region
      Shortages :HP&S, Craftsmen, basic C&I, Electrical
      Civil / Military divide: need for harmonisation of language & standards
       where possible. Tier 2 Co’s will work in both supply chains
      Standardisation of requirements / to enhance transferability
      Export potential: Professional Engineering & specialists, funded
       contracts
      Local access to national resources for peak lopping
      Cost drivers.

6. Developing a Voice in the Region
The industry could gain by developing a clear voice in the region. The West of
England Aerospace Forum (WEAF) was cited as an example. Cogent was at
present talking with SW RDA about skills issues, but a wider range of issues
could be considered if the industry cooperated with other organisations. The
main points were:
           Collective action needs common cause definition
           Use the SSA as a voice in the SWESA
           Scenarios would be a good tool
           It is critical to make an impact in schools
The question was raised whether to make this a nuclear industry voice, or a
wider engineering initiative, perhaps involving EU SSC, SEMTA, Aerospace,
and Automotive. It was decided to keep the nuclear identity for the moment.

7. Invited guest speakers:

7.1 David Clarke - Chair of the Young Generation Network – BNES
Open to all BNES members under 37 years old, the objectives of the YGN are as
follows:
        Focus on the next generation
        Promote knowledge in a wide perspective of the nuclear industry
        Provide a platform for:
                i. Personal networks
               ii. Exchange of experience
              iii. Exchange of best practice across companies
             iv. Development of Nuclear technology
               v. Recruitment & job opportunities
             vi. Career development
             vii. Information, advice and guidance to school & university
                   students


7.2 Brian Cooper - Business Link & UK Trade & Investment
    UK Trade & Investment is the Government organisation that supports
    companies in the UK doing business internationally. Recognising that
    companies in the South West are the least active in international markets,
    UKTI & SWRDA have introduced a seminar programme to encourage and
    enable SMEs to expand their business. The programme is practical in
    nature and encompasses a wide range of do’s and don’ts for potential
    exporters.

8. Forum Objectives and Actions
The following points were noted:
        Differing skills needs between Tier 1,2 & 3 Companies
        Useful to develop scenario planning – 0-5, 5-10, 10-15 year periods
          to develop messages
        Holistic group membership – to speak with one voice to SWRDA etc
        Involve SWRDA – engage with other Nuclear Companies. Re-
          engage with Graham Harrison at SWRDA – arrange briefing visits &
          meetings for him
        Involve BE. Ask for next meeting at British Energy?
        Informal network could operate between Training Reps and/or HR
        Where do we go from here
              o Communiqué
              o Education HE - Strategy for SW
             o SW HE Colleges to join NTEC?
             o HE Standards – quality of grads?
             o Engage with Academics on Cogent Board

Actions arising
    Prepare a communiqué
    Survey – what Technician / Apprenticeship training is available from
      which institutions?
    YGN Surveys – DC to email ideas re involvement to JH & BC
    Consider strategy for dealing with threat to SW education
    Report through Skills network on the lack of numeracy & literacy in
      graduates
    NOS for Decommissioning to be pursued
    Frequency of meetings – 2 per year – next one Sept 05
    Report to NAC
    To set up a timeline for achievement of objectives – end date by 2006.
.

JR Haddon
Cogent SSC
17/2/05
     ATTENDANCE AT
     SOUTH WEST NUCLEAR EMPLOYERS FORUM
     DML, DEVONPORT HOUSE, KEYNSHAM, BRISTOL, BS31 2YH


Dave Clarke    BNES YGN         Jacobs Babtie, Exeter      Dave.clarke@jacobs.com
               Chairman
Martyn Pratt   Personnel        Magnox: Oldbury Power      martyn.pratt@magnox.co.uk
               Manager          Station
Tub Aves       Director of      DML Devonport              tub.aves@devonport.co.uk
               Safety
               Training

Matthew        Managing         Fathoms Ltd, Langport      mfrench@fathoms.co.uk
French         Director
Clive Smith    NSQEP Team       Ministry of Defence,       wsadtechns3@wsa.dlo.mod.uk
               Leader           Abbeywood

Martin Cross   Associate        Mott MacDonald, Bristol    martin.cross@mottmac.com
               Director
               Risk &
               Assurance
Tony           Head of          NNC Ltd, Gloucester        tony.coverdale@nnc.co.uk
Coverdale      Nuclear Safety
Nigel Smith    Operations       SERCO Assurance,           nigel.smith@sercoassurance.com
               Manager          Winfrith

Graham Dale Training &          UKAEA, Winfrith            graham.dale@ukaea.org.uk
            Development
            Advisor

Alun Roberts   Sales &          Weir Strachan & Henshaw,   alun.roberts@sandh-ltd.com
               Marketing        Bristol
               Manager

Brian Cooper   Senior           UK Trade & Invest,         brian.cooper@blsl.co.uk
               International    Somerset & Dorset
               Trade Adviser
               Advanced
               Engineering
Bob Chappell   South West       Cogent SSC                 bob.chappell@cogent-ssc.com
               Manager

John Haddon    Nuclear Skills   Cogent SSC                 john.haddon@cogent-ssc.com
               Adviser

				
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