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Engineering excellence at Sellafield

Sellafield Ltd has received two national awards from the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB).

The company was named ‘Large Employer of the Year’, while employee Laura Pugh took the title of ‘Young Apprentice of the Year’ at the annual ECITB awards event in London.

Steve Bostock, Site Director for Sellafield Ltd attended the ceremony. He said: “For the company to receive an award like this during a year of such unprecedented change is testament to the people driving forward the Sellafield clean-up mission.

“Laura is a shining example of that, and to see her recognised as an outstanding role model for the next generation of engineers, is fantastic.

“Not only has she excelled in her training and subsequent employment, she goes above and beyond to support colleagues and promote the value of apprenticeships.”

The ECITB awards have been established to celebrate the brightest and best from the engineering construction industry, including those delivering world class education and training.

Steve added: “We are home to some of the most complex challenges in the world, but have one of the most innovative and determined workforce and supply chains.

“Although the mission at Sellafield is changing, engineering and construction skills will be needed for decades to come.

“We are proud to be developing world class education and training to help create a pipeline of skills, building the UK’s workforce of tomorrow.”

Laura, aged 23 from Workington, was praised for her commitment to learning and her work to inspire younger people to pursue STEM subjects.

She said: “I was just happy to be nominated for an award as it meant that my hard work has been noticed, but I’m stunned to have won.

“Balancing academic studies with work and STEM activities for four years was difficult at times, but I was keen to give it my best and I had great support from my mentor and managers.”

Laura’s journey began with an apprenticeship in electrical design, she is now working towards a degree whilst working as an electrical and instrumentation designer at the nuclear site.

Having completed her training in a portacabin on a construction site at Sellafield, Laura said: “Nuclear is obviously a male dominated industry, but I never felt like this was a barrier. I have been extremely supported by both males and females, including my colleagues, mentor and line manager.”

Appraising the candidates, the judges said that Laura demonstrated excellent performance during her apprenticeship, commitment to her own personal development and a passion to raise the aspiration of local school students.

This is not the first time Sellafield Ltd has received accolades, last year Lydia Rowell took home the ‘Women in Engineering’ award, and the company continues to be praised for its impressive female apprentice intake.

Steve commented: “We are extremely proud to have 42% female apprentices, the highest of any STEM employer in the UK, and trainees like Laura provide positive role models for women in the engineering profession.”

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