Around 80 Year 10/11 and 12/13 students from schools and colleges in the Warrington area got an insight into what design engineering involves and the range of opportunities available STEM careers during a summer work experience programme for young nuclear design engineers at the Sellafield nuclear facility in Cumbria.
Using a multi-discipline project and individual tasks delivered by Sellafield’s engineers, graduates and degree apprentices, the students completed four engineering modules – process, mechanical, control electrical and instrumentation, and civil and structural engineering design – designed to inform and inspire the workforce of the future.
The ground-breaking work experience programme has spawned many success stories over the years it has been running, include Lorna Sowerbutts, who came to Sellafield’s Warrington offices to take part in our work experience programme with no idea what she wanted to do as a career. After completing her work experience, she joined Sellafield as an apprentice in 2017 and has recently graduated with a first-class honours degree in civil engineering. She is now working as a civil engineer in our Infrastructure Strategic Alliance.
‘This has been a really good experience, said Lewis Stanley, one of the students on this year’s programme. ‘My background is film and media, so I’ve enjoyed talking to people who work in engineering to understand the work they do. If you’re interested in engineering, I would definitely recommend this programme, especially if you’re studying science and design/technology. There are lots of different things to learn about and the team explained how to enter engineering and the different routes for qualifications and jobs.’
‘This really is an exceptional programme and a great way of showing the next generation the opportunities that are available to them – seeing young people embrace opportunities like this is a personal highlight for me, said Simon Wittridge, head of project functions at Sellafield.
‘This programme is an excellent springboard for early career talent into the organisation,’ added Mark Duffy, Sellafield’s engineering and education development manager. ‘Through the structured delivery format, which mimics the approach to project delivery, the participants have a lens into engineering that brings alive their theoretical studies. Next year, we are hoping to run the programme throughout multiple holiday periods, to increase opportunities for engagement and to open up the programme to more students. We are also exploring working with other functions within Sellafield Ltd to widen to scope of our programme.’