British Energy cuts training time in half

British Energy has an acute shortage of experienced nuclear staff and has cut the time required to complete some of its basic training programmes by half. Some of the group's training programmes have been trimmed from 18 to nine months (The Times – 29 November 2007).

Jean McSorley, senior adviser to Greenpeace on nuclear issues said:”The idea that you can just cut that in half is something you have to question. It has to have a bearing on safety”. (The Times – 29 November 2007).

British Energy, which operates eight nuclear power stations, denied that this means a lowering of standards, claiming that it puts safety at the centre of all its activities. It has hired a company called KorteQ to help it overcome its skills shortage. The Head of Operations at KorteQ said that its programme would greatly reduce the length of time required to train British Energy staff to Suitably Qualified and Experienced Personnel (SQEP) level, a standard set by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (The Times – 29 November 2007).

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive, which monitors the standards of staff at all nuclear sites, said that any doubts about their competence would lead to loss of operating licenses and possibly prosecution (The Times – 29 November 2007).

Look at the Times 100 case studies on the work of National Grid and Marks & Spencer to see the role and value of training and development in major organisations.


British Energy forced to cut training times in half -The Times (print edition), 29 November 2007

The Times 100 Case Studies – Theory – Training and Development

The Times 100 Case Studies – National Grid, Developing skills in a large organisation through training and development

The Times 100 Case Studies – Marks & Spencer, The role of training and development in career progression

Potential Questions:

  • Explain the value to an employer and to a new employee of 'Induction Training'.
  • Discuss the importance of training and development programmes for its employees to a company like British Energy.
  • At times of downturn in the economy or recession, companies often cut back on training. Assess the long term effects of this for:
  • the country
  • a company
  • an employee