A Sellafield trainee gave an impassioned speech promoting apprenticeships at a prestigious Parliament event.

Rachel Hamilton, a third year scientific apprentice, told an audience that she believed an apprenticeship gave her a better chance of achieving her dreams than going to university.

The 21-year-old, of Egremont, was invited to speak at Promoting the Prestige of UK Apprenticeships by Skills Minister Anne Milton.

Rachel said: “I was really happy to share my experiences as an apprentice and promote it as a first choice career move, not a plan B.

"My twin sister and my older brother also chose the Sellafield apprenticeship route over university, and our parents were very supportive of this decision because of the high quality training and education on offer.

“Not only do I get a scientific qualification and the opportunity to do degree while I earn a salary, I also remain debt-free and with a pension plan and exciting career progression opportunities.

"Apprenticeships also teach you sought after transferable skills,such as time management, team work and organisational skills.

"It has prepared me for the workplace by instilling a sense of responsibility for myself, my work, my colleagues and that of the organisation.”

The event was part of the National Apprenticeship Week campaign called #Apprenticeshipswork.

Sellafield Ltd currently has 550 apprentices on its books, having trained 10,000 apprentices over the last few decades.

Mrs Milton said:“It’s fantastic that Sellafield is giving young people the chance to become nuclear experts with such a diverse and exciting range of apprenticeships.

“These high quality apprenticeships will give us the nuclear workforce of the future, and are supported by the new National College for Nuclear, which opened its doors last month.”

Copeland MP Trudy Harrison, who is also a government apprentice ambassador said: “Sellafield Ltd is leading the way in offering a wide range of courses up to degree level, initiating its own trailblazer schemes to fill the skills requirements and recruiting an impressive number of females – way above the national average – to ensure the new recruits are the future innovators to tackle the clean up challenges at the largest nuclear site in the UK.”