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Breaking ground at Culham Science Centre


Last week, we marked the start of the construction works on the expansion Oxfordshire Advanced Skills (OAS), as well as the launch of UKAEA’s new apprenticeship programmes in space, robotics, data science, energy storage, power engineering and cyber security.

The training centre’s extension at the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA) Culham Science Centre is funded by the Fusion Foundations Programme. This is a government initiative to enable the delivery of fusion, which has great potential to provide sustainable energy for generations to come, through the development of infrastructure, facilities, and skills in the UK.

The ground-breaking ceremony included OAS apprentices, who represent a total population of around 175 current learners employed by manufacturing companies across industries from motor sport to pharmaceuticals, maritime and fusion.

They were joined by representatives from UKAEA, training provider MTC Training and McLaughlin & Harvey. OxLEP also attended the ceremony and has awarded OAS a grant to fund specialist equipment.

The three-year-old facility will be extended by 2,355 sqm and ready to receive its first cohort from September 2023, creating career-making opportunities for an additional 90 apprentices.

Emma Johnstone, MTC Training’s Operations Manager at OAS, said, “Since opening in 2019, our apprentice intakes have already doubled in size. The extension will help OAS to increase our impact even further by supporting more people and businesses with future skills.”

Gerard Donnelly, McLaughlin & Harvey Senior Project Manager, commented, “We are delighted to be continuing to work with UKAEA at Culham Science Centre. Groundworks are progressing well, with structural steel erection commencing later this month as planned which will enable speedy installation of precast and composite flooring elements thereafter.”