4 March 2008 –  French nuclear company, Areva and the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) have signed an agreement in which Areva will support engineering and nuclear skills development.

Anne Lauvergeon

Anne Lauvergeon,
Areva CEO

"Arecsa Human Capital, a joint venture between Areva and Necsa, will increase training in technology and energy of disadvantaged South Africans, underlining the company’s commitment to government’s Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa and the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (Jipsa)," Areva said in a press release last week.

Cooperation is also extended to training of artisans through Necsa’s Artisan training centre. The agreements support Areva’s aims of bridging the gap in nuclear skills – a necessity in building and maintaining South Africa’s nuclear programme.

Said Anne Lauvergeon, Areva CEO, "Skills are critical if South Africa’s nuclear industry is to succeed. Today, we have extended our support to Jipsa, and made another strong commitment to this vital area of the South African government’s economic policy."

Skills development initiatives include a project leaders programme, through which qualified South African engineers are sent for further studies at the Sorbonne and Areva University. This programme has been extended for five years.

Areva has, in partnership with North West University, also started a nuclear project management training course at the university this year. It will target local nuclear industry executives and NWU post grad nuclear engineering students.