From education to employment

Degree apprentice engineers look towards bright future in transforming environment

ENVIRONMENTAL clean-up, opportunity to learn a broad range of technical skills and a chance to earn while you learn has attracted some of the brightest young minds to take up degree apprentice roles with a major employer.

Six degree apprentices at Sellafield’s Engineering and Maintenance organisation are among 46 degree apprentices who have joined the business this year.

They spent a week at the start of their three-year Foundation Degree at Sellafield’s Engineering Centre of Excellence for an introduction to the state-of-the-art technology and problem-solving thinking at the centre which is delivering pioneering environmental clean-up work on site.

The students were given a hands-on experience with VR, UAV and ROV technologies and took part in a Microbots workshop.

They also worked on a problem-solving challenge and were given an introduction to digital and asset data and condition-based maintenance as well as learning about all the different departments which deliver Sellafield’s mission to create a clean and safe environment for future generations.

Based at Energus, Workington, for the first year of their course, the students will study electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, Maths, Nuclear Physics and CAD.

“Sellafield is significant for all of us who have grown up and live in Cumbria. It’s on our doorstep. The opportunity to play an important role in helping communities in the area is a big part of what attracted to me to the degree apprenticeship,” said student Will Rose.

Fellow student Aaron Watters said:

“For me it’s the scale of the challenge. It’s the biggest nuclear site in Europe. So to learn here is a great opportunity.”

For Harry Sutcliffe it’s the variety of work which is the attraction. “There’s a massive range of variation in the job.” And for Luke Murray it’s the chance to: “earn while you learn.”

All the students are also looking forward to having a good job at the end of their degrees, with exciting career prospects and also to becoming chartered in their chosen profession. 

Lorna Devine, system engineer at Sellafield and one of the pathway leads for the Degree Apprentices, said:

“It’s encouraging to see young people coming into the business wanting to make such a positive difference to the environment and their communities. We look forward to their careers developing with Sellafield.”

Craig Branney, Sellafield’s Head of Off Site Developments, said:

“One of the key roles for the Engineering Centre of Excellence is to inspire the next generation and to have a positive impact on the community where we all live and work. 

“We have brilliant people here looking at the latest technology and ways of working to solve some of the world’s most technical industrial challenges. We were delighted to showcase that work to the students and we hope that helps them with their problem solving abilities when they are learning throughout their degree and beyond.”

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