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Surge in Sellafield apprenticeships

27 August 2013

On August 22 the company responsible for cleaning up and decommissioning the giant Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria said it is taking on 121 apprentices this year, well up on previous years. The company runs courses across a range of skills, including electrical, mechanical, health physics and project management, amongst others.

Sellafield currently employs around 10,000.
Sellafield currently employs around 10,000.

Sellafield Ltd is responsible for cleaning up and decommissioning Europe’s most complex nuclear site under contract to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

The recruits, mostly aged between 16 and 18, start with the company next week, and will undertake a three-and-a-half year training experience, with a job in the nuclear industry guaranteed for those who complete the course.

The majority of the posts, 113, are based at the Sellafield site, with a further eight new apprentices taking up roles at the company’s office near Warrington, in Cheshire. 

Sellafield managing director Tony Price said: “People often think of Sellafield and think that we are a decommissioning site which, by definition, should be winding down.

“But the reality is that cleaning up the UK’s nuclear legacy, some of which dates back to the cold war, will take decades to complete, which means there are jobs and opportunities here for many years to come. That’s why we are so keen to invest in a young, local workforce which will be essential to us going forward.

"This is a record intake for us but apprentice numbers have increased over the last five years, and will continue to."

The Sellafield site, opened in the 1940s, was home to the UK’s nuclear weapons programme, the world’s first commercial nuclear power reactor and various nuclear fuel storage facilities. It currently employs around 10,000.

Local council leader Elaine Woodburn said, "The increase in numbers on the apprenticeship scheme is a positive - and one which we hope will continue year on year to ensure the skillset in the local area matches the needs of our biggest employer. In doing this we are also ensuring that our young people are armed with the skills they need for both the local labour market and much further afield."

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