Friday, 04 September 2015

Sellafield staff celebrate degree awards

Training company Gen II and Sellafield have joined forces to hold their own graduation ceremony to honour learners.

Sellafield graduates photo
From left, Matthew Pachul, Harrison Riley, Natalie Robinson, Jack Denwood and Lorraine Harvey

The successes of more than 30 students who have completed degrees and other higher education qualifications through the partnership were celebrated at Energus, near Workington.

They included that of Chris Fairclough, who lives off Warwick Road in Carlisle.

Chris, 24, was one of the first to graduate with a BEng Honours degree.

One of eight technical specialist trainees who started out on a new programme five years ago run by Gen II and Sellafield, all eight have gone on to gain foundation degrees and then their degree this year.

Chris works as a technical adviser on the sprawling Sellafield site in west Cumbria.

His official graduation from the University of Central Lancashire, the institution awarding his degree, took place the day before the Energus evening.

Chris, a former pupil of Trinity School in Carlisle, said: “I’ve got nothing planned now in terms of continuing my learning but I do want to move up one day to do my masters at some point.

“It has been a great experience. I’ve really enjoyed it. We’ve covered nuclear, of course, but what this has done is give us knowledge and experience in a range of other fields too like chemical engineering, thermodynamics and control systems.

All of the graduates have completed their studies part-time whilst in full-time employment with a number of companies including Nuvia, ABB, James Walker and Sellafield Ltd.

Four special awards were given out at the ceremony.

They included the endeavour award which went to Harrison Riley from Nethertown, Egremont, and the honours degree student of the year, Natalie Robinson from Whitehaven.

Harrison started at Gen II in 2008 as an electrical and instrumentation apprentice. After being placed at Sellafield he gained a foundation degree through his employer.

He said: “The first year at Gen II gave me that real hands on experience and then when I was placed on site, I got to combine that with real work place experience. The course has been amazing and has given me a real opportunity.”

Mike Smith, chief executive of Gen II, said: “This event is unique as normally graduation ceremonies are reserved for universities, not work-based training providers.

“It is also unique because of the nature of the programmes that we run with our partners, Sellafield Ltd and TATA Projects. These students are working full-time whilst undertaking an academic degree.”


Hot jobs

New vacancies


BBC News business headlines