Semta – The Science, Engineering, and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance - is an organisation responsible for engineering skills for the future of the UK’s most advanced sectors.

The Semta Skills Awards celebrate talented individuals and companies whose commitment to skills development is making a significant difference in their workplace and to their sector.

Bridgwater & Taunton College, home to the Southern Hub of the National College for Nuclear, are making a huge difference to the way nuclear engineers learn and develop skills that are often deployed in dangerous environments.

Stay up to date with the Semta Skills Awards on Thursday 21st March from 7pm and join the conversation using #SemtaAwards

What Exactly Is Their Innovation?

Working in partnership with local and national employers the college has developed the PRACTICE Flow Rig – (Practical Reactor Activity Centre; Thermodynamics, Instrumentation, Control & Electrics.)

The flow rig has been built twice – once in real life, and once in virtual reality - this enables apprentices to explore an exact environment in virtual reality before having to operate on the real thing.


This innovative approach is beneficial in so many ways as it:

  • brings the industrial scenario in to the college setting.
  • allows individuals to experiment and learn by doing, repeating tasks until they are confidently secured.
  • ensures that apprentices are fully work ready as they become familiar with both the technical skills and the behaviours required to work in this highly regulated environment.
  • makes assessment more relevant as individuals can demonstrate on camera how they’re approaching a piece of work and showcase the skills they have developed.
  • enables employers of different sizes to engage apprentices of all ages, disciplines and levels, on the same facility.

The PRACTICE flow rig was supported through our #VocTech Impact funding call which offers up to £300,000 for ideas that use digital technology to enable the UK workforce to access and develop the skills they need for work.

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