Hartlepool Sixth Form has been granted National College for Nuclear (NCfN) status as an Approved Provider to deliver high quality qualifications to support the nuclear sector.


As part of the NCfE network – a partnership between industry employers, regulators, skills bodies and training providers – Hartlepool Sixth Form College will become the first to deliver nuclear skills and technical training in the North East.


NCfN is one of the National Colleges created to support the delivery of major infrastructure projects in the UK and will delivers an assured curriculum, aligned with industry and employer demands, driven by the Government’s response to nuclear skills provision.


As an approved provider, Hartlepool Sixth Form College will benefit from being part of a national network which includes NCfN’s at Bridgwater & Taunton College, Lancaster & Morecambe College, East Coast College (Suffolk), Lakes College (Cumbria) and West Suffolk College as well as leading employers Sellafield Ltd and EDF Energy.


The NCfE at Hartlepool Sixth Form College will drive regional skills as well as shaping the green agenda, refreshing existing courses and delivering a new curriculum that is based on employer need.


Principal Toni Rhodes said: “We are so proud that we have become the accredited provider for the National College for Nuclear in the North East. The approval supports our high level of academic excellence and our ambition to drive forward higher technical skills in this area.


“This is a crucial time and by working on key initiatives and curriculum design we will support the North East’s ambition in meeting the skills demands for the future Nuclear Industry.”


The Tees Valley Is leading the way in innovative industries with Net Zero Teesside, hydrogen power pilots and working to become the UK’s premier hub for offshore wind.


In 2022, Rolls-Royce shortlisted Teesworks as one of three potential locations for its first factory to manufacture parts for its fleet of nuclear power stations.


With a decision on the final site expected in the coming weeks, the Small Module Reactor (SMR) facility will be around the size of three football pitches and create more than 200 long-term jobs. With the capacity to generate enough low-carbon energy to power one million homes it is hoped a fleet of Rolls-Royce SMR power stations will increase the UK’s energy security and support net zero targets by generating low-carbon electricity from a sustainable source for generations.


Mayor of the Tees Valley, Ben Houchen, said:  “Hartlepool has a proud history as a leader in the nuclear sector, so it’s only right that we have an Approved Provider in the town to deliver high quality training so our young people have the skills to get a good job in the sector.


“With the life of Hartlepool Power Station being extended until 2026 and Teesside in the running for multiple new nuclear investments that will bring good-quality jobs to our region, I’m delighted that Hartlepool Sixth Form has been granted NCfN status so that we can create more home-grown talent right here.”


NCfN was established by the Government in 2016 to ensure employers responsible for nuclear operations and decommissioning, major project delivery and waste management, have access to a quality skills and education provision which proactively responds to and meets the demands of a changing nuclear industry.


It aims to develop and maintain scarce and specialist skills ensuring that capability is available both now, and in the future, leveraging vocational routes to higher education.


Helen Higgs, Vice Chair and Managing Director of the National College for Nuclear, said: “We are delighted to welcome Hartlepool Sixth Form College to the National College for Nuclear network.


“This is a vital time for the nuclear and net zero sectors in working to deliver the UK Government’s energy and security strategies, and as an Approved Provider, Hartlepool Sixth Form College will become part of the nationwide solution to building the competent and agile workforce that is needed. We look forward to working closely with the team there to further build upon NCfN’s work with employers across the country.”

Why Education Partnership North East (EPNE)?

Highly commended - Employer of the Year, Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards 2019

Engagement with Employers - Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award 2017

(Sunderland College On-programme Survey 2017)

Selected by DfE for 2021 T Level pilot to deliver the new high-quality technical qualifications.

98% overall employer satisfaction - Employer Survey 2018/19