Rolls-Royce Submarines needs 200 apprentices for Derby’s new nuclear engineering academy – here’s how to apply

Rolls-Royce Submarines is setting up an academy to train the next generation of nuclear engineers.

The engineering firm, which powers the UK’s underwater defence, said the Nuclear Skills Academy in Derby will launch with 200 new nuclear apprenticeships in September 2022.

Rolls-Royce Submarines has also pledged to create the same number of new apprentices each year for at least the next decade as part of its drive to boost the country’s nuclear capabilities.

It comes after BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce were awarded contracts worth more than £2billion for the first phase of work on four new Dreadnought submarines, replacing the Royal Navy’s existing Vangaurd ships.

Rolls-Royce Submarines has been supplying and managing nuclear propulsion plants for the UK nuclear sub-fleet for 60 years.

This includes frontline support around the world from its center of operations in Derby and in Barrow-in-Furness Naval Dockyard and Naval Bases Devonport and Faslane.

The engineering giant says a single spoonful of uranium is enough to power a fully submerged submarine on a complete circumnavigation of the globe.

The only restriction on how long nuclear submarines stay is the amount of food they have on board.

Combined, this means they can provide sustained global deterrence without support, while remaining undetected.

Rolls-Royce Submarines currently employs over 1,500 engineers who design, build and maintain the fleet, based in Raynesway, Derby.

The Nuclear Skills Academy is supported by the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Center – which is building a new £15 million research facility in Derby – the National College for Nuclear, the University of Derby and Derby City Council.

They will help ensure that apprentices have access to the best courses and mentors.

Steve Carlier, president of submarines at Rolls-Royce, said: “We are proud of our unique nuclear capability and we are fortunate to have some of the smartest minds on the planet working for us.

“But we need to maintain this capability if we are to continue innovating and evolving.

“Being born and bred in Derby, I am immensely proud that we are helping to enhance the region’s reputation for engineering excellence.

“The UK is embarking on a nuclear renaissance and we are determined to make the East Midlands the home of nuclear expertise for decades to come.”

The apprenticeships will be divided into four streams: Apprenticeship for a nuclear engineering degree, Apprenticeship for a business diploma, Apprenticeship for a nuclear engineering technician and Apprenticeship for an advanced engineer.

Lee Warren, Director of Engineering and Technology for Rolls-Royce Submarines, said: “The four courses offer higher education degrees without debt while earning a salary within an exciting and growing company which supports the UK’s clean carbon ambitions.

“If you know someone who is finishing school or college, rethinking college debt, or even already working and looking to change careers, our apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity.”

“Our new academy will not only maintain and develop our nuclear capability for years to come, but it will also provide invaluable STEM qualifications to hundreds of people at the very beginning of their careers.

“Generations of submariners have trusted our nuclear expertise and our new academy means we can continue to provide them with cutting-edge technology to protect them and the UK.”

For more information on Rolls-Royce submarines, visit

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