Spotlight shines on next generation of nuclear workforce

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Ellie Haggart, a cyber security apprentice, and Jack Lofthouse, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) pilot, opened the doors on their day-to-day work at the Sellafield site in west Cumbria.

Featuring on the BBC Bitesize ‘world of work’ series, the pair shared their experiences of what it’s like to work in cyber security and nuclear decommissioning.

The online clips, which see videos of Ellie and Jack in the workplace, aim to encourage and inform viewers of careers across a host of industries and sectors.

Ellie, a cyber security apprentice with Energus and sponsored by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), works to keep the Sellafield site safe from cyber threats.

Her cyber specialism sees her write policies and standards to keep people safe in the workplace.

Jack, who operates the ROVs that work under water in the site’s storage ponds, is helping to clean up nuclear waste and make the site safer for future generations.

Remotely operated vehicle pilot Jack Lofthouse

Remotely operated vehicle pilot Jack Lofthouse

His role involves moving radioactive waste into storage skips and scooping sludge from the pond floor.

Ellie and Jack’s skills are considered vital to the future of nuclear decommissioning and their training is all part of NDA’s drive to have the right people with the right skills at the right time.

Jacq Longrigg, the NDA’s Head of Skills and Talent, said:

Ellie and Jack are examples of the next generation of our nuclear workforce who have the skills needed to continue our decommissioning mission.

The NDA is committed to ensuring a skilled workforce is ready to meet the future demands of our industry, and we hope that Ellie and Jack’s stories will inspire more young people to consider an exciting career in the sector.

Jamie Reed, head of corporate affairs for Sellafield Ltd, said:

The decommissioning of Sellafield is one of the most complex engineering challenges anywhere in the world.

We’ll need a pipeline of skills over many decades to get the job done safely, securely, and cost effectively.

We want to ensure as many local people as possible can access these opportunities.

It’s great to see Ellie and Jack achieving their potential and encouraging other young people to do the same.

Nadim Zahawi, Minister for Nuclear, said:

The UK has world-leading expertise in decommissioning, and to maintain our position we want to encourage as many young people as possible to consider a career in the low-carbon nuclear sector.

The training Jack and Ellie have benefited from will stand them in good stead for their future careers. The skills this next generation of nuclear apprentices learn will be crucial as we work towards meeting our legally-binding commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Adrienne Easterbrook, General Manager of Energus, added:

Two years after recruiting the first cohort of cyber security apprentices, we have now supported a number of them into permanent roles. It has been fantastic to see them grow into the young professionals they are today.

Ellie will soon be moving into her permanent role within the cyber security support team.

See Ellie and Jack’s world of work stories:

BBC Bitesize: Life as a cyber security apprentice: Ellie’s story

BBC Bitesize: Working on a nuclear site: Jack’s story

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