1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a nuclear professional specialising in the support of production through manufacturing plants and also implementing new business into the operating unit that I work within. This involves everything from monitoring plant performance and trying to maximise throughput, to selling my plants' services to major stakeholders to increase their demand.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
If you strive for improvement then this is the perfect course, everything from communication to critical thinking is tested and improved on a daily basis. As well as this, the employer offers a vast array of courses to their employees that allow for personal and professional development in many different fields.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
As you can probably tell, I think this apprentice program is brilliant. It consists of four days of working with the company and one day of university per week so has a great balance of work experience and studying. Don't get me wrong, it's a lot of work and is in no way a walk in the park but if you're willing to try, the rewards are well worth it.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
There are three sides to this: apprenticeship, university and work. In my experience the work side of things is well organised with everything running smoothly during the first few months all the way up to now. The university side of things is very well organised with the support of Gen2 and the UoC. The apprenticeship side of things seems to be still in development, but this is of no major concern at present.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
As much as you need/want and even more. The sheer amount of people that are employed by this company means that there will always be someone who can help you with anything you need (professional or personal). I have a great line manager and working team as well as a mentor for an independent contact in the business.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
If you ask questions you'll always get a helpful answer. Gen2 is a great training provider and have well-trained, experienced and helpful staff who are always willing to clear things up and help make your learning experience as easy as possible. This is a must have with such a demanding course. The apprenticeship side of the course has a quarterly meeting where you can ask a representative as many questions as you need.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Very well. There's a huge variety of skills required on a daily basis to perform at this level, many of which are improved and developed by the modules completed each semester. All the engineering aspects of my job are covered by what I learn in the university lectures and research.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
The area of my work is a very social place and I have often met up with people from work and university outside of hours. There are opportunities to join sports teams, go skydiving, visit other countries and just about anything you want to try. A big one round here is cycling.
9a. Would you recommend Sellafield Ltd to a friend?
Because it's brilliant. Sellafield is one of the places that if you really want to succeed you can and people will encourage you to be your absolute best to ensure that you do succeed. If it's job satisfaction and reward you are after , this is the place for you.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Sellafield Ltd?
If you don't want to put in effort in order to do well; don't bother. If you want to become a better version of yourself and make a difference in a major heavy industry; what are you waiting for. The courses can be intensive and difficult at times, but so worth it.