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Sellafield - STEM Experience

Case study

“I want to pursue a nuclear process apprenticeship with Sellafield Ltd once I’ve finished my studies”

Katherine Pickering Undergraduate Purchasing Engineer

Organisation: Sellafield Ltd.

Sector: Nuclear

Location: Lillyhall

Scheme title: STEM work experience

Duration: One week

Age groups involved: Sixty college students

Introduction to the company

Sellafield Ltd is a global centre for nuclear engineering management. We pioneered the harnessing of nuclear power to generate electricity across country.

How does the scheme work?

The week was a lot of fun but also a challenge for students; Groups of year 10 students were doing degree level engineering tasks.

The student’s personal skills were also put to the test during a series of mini training sessions on interview conduct, CV improvement and skills demonstration to potential employers. 

How do you collaborate with universities or schools?

Sellafield Ltd. answered a request from the Energy Coast University Technical College (UTC) to provide over sixty students with a week of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) work experience.

Having struggled to find STEM work placements for the students, the UTC asked Sellafield Ltd. graduates, apprentices and STEM ambassadors to host a week of design and engineering activities, and employment advice at the UTC in Lillyhall.

As part of Sellafield Ltd’s commitment to inspiring the next generation of engineers and scientists, the company encourages all employees, especially new recruits, to use their position as nuclear professionals to encourage young people to pursue STEM subjects and educate them about the broad spectrum of careers available. 

How do students benefit?

Principal and Chief Executive Gary Jones said: “Opportunities like this for the students to engage with local employers helps the students to form important decisions about their future.

“Sellafield Ltd is a fundamental part of West Cumbria, not only because of the size of the organisation, but also because of its influence in terms of the supply chain and helping the local community. Having this opportunity for the students to meet, form relationships and work with the company which they may one day be a part of is hugely beneficial.” 

How does the organisation benefit?

Graduate trainee Richard Nayer organised the week. He said: “The week has been fantastic for everybody involved and the students have really impressed us with their knowledge and enthusiasm.

“The week was a new learning experience for us too; mentoring groups of students isn’t something we normally get a chance to do so it was a good opportunity to step out of our comfort zones.”

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