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The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has signed an MoU with Abu Dhabi Polytechnic on a joint vocational training programme to develop a local workforce to support the UAE’s nuclear energy industry
Nuclear energy refers to the use of nuclear processes to generate useful heat and energy.
According to the MoU, ENEC and Abu Dhabi Polytechnic will collaborate on a customised nuclear energy curriculum for the ENEC Energy Pioneers scholarship programme. This will specifically address the areas pertaining to formulating a peaceful nuclear energy strategy in the UAE.
Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO of ENEC, said, “Nurturing the next generation of nuclear energy leaders in the UAE is one of ENEC’s top priorities and this MoU consolidates our relationship with Abu Dhabi Polytechnic. We aim to provide the best and brightest UAE nationals with the training and opportunities needed to become part of an industry that is crucial to the country’s continued growth.”
Al Hammadi added that ENEC would require more than 2,500 employees by 2020, with 60 per cent of them comprising Emiratis. Abu Dhabi Polytechnic is also specifically working towards converting UAE into a knowledge-based economy by training the youth in specialist technology fields.
Ahmed Alawar, director of Abu Dhabi Polytechnic, added, “The cooperation between ENEC and us started with the development of the Higher Diploma in Nuclear Technology (HDNT) programme three years ago. Since then, 17 students have graduated from the programme and 270 have enrolled in the programme. This programme offers students a combination of theoretical education and practical experience to prepare them for technical careers at the UAE’s nuclear energy plants.”
In addition to existing curriculum, a new programme called Applied Bachelor’s in Information Security Engineering Technology (ABISET) has been launched for students.
This programme will enable students to become IT professionals guiding ENEC on cyber security and secure information and communication systems. ENEC will also provide students from the program with specialist on-the-job training at its facilities in Barakah, western Abu Dhabi. Graduates will also get a chance to join the team at ENEC to work on delivering safe, clean and efficient nuclear energy to the UAE by 2017.
ENEC officials added that a total of four nuclear energy plants will be constructed by 2020, after obtaining regulatory approvals. The first two plants are already under construction and are now more than 45 per cent complete, with the first plant scheduled to commence commercial operations in 2017, pending further regulatory approvals.