UK Atomic Energy Authority


Accreditations:
       
IET   Institution of Mechanical Engineers   The Nuclear Institute
  UKAEA
APPRENTICESHIP
SCHEME
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CCFE Culham Apprentice's

 


Apprentice profiles



Tom
  Tom
  2nd Year Electrical Engineering Apprentice


Why did you pick an Apprenticeship?
I decided to choose an apprenticeship due to being a practical hands on person, and I felt it suited me better then University, but also I can learn a lot more from the people I work with and what I do rather than through a text book.

Why did you choose UKAEA?
I chose UKAEA, due to the opportunities that I would have, like working on one of a kind pieces of equipment, the ability to work in a wide range of departments, and having a large variety of tasks that could challenge me in a wide range of skills.
  
What are your future career aspirations?
In the future, I hope to continue my education as far as possible, to aim for chartership with the IET, whilst working to improve my skills.



Katriya
  Katriya
  3rd year Electrical Engineering Apprentice


What made you decide to do an apprenticeship
I was unhappy with the call for more young people to enrol into university; there was a growing expectation for a degree to be the baseline standard of education which exacerbated the problem with student debt and uncertainty after the degree. The most appealing aspects of an apprenticeship is the experience and independence that you gain in a working environment whilst having opportunities for further education. I was excited to see apprenticeship schemes for areas I was interested in. 

How did you hear about the UKAEA apprenticeship scheme? 
Before I applied to the UKAEA apprenticeship scheme I was interested in the nuclear industry, especially nuclear fusion. Upon researching about Sellafield, I learned that they did an engineering apprenticeship, which I immediately looked into. This introduced me to the other UKAEA apprenticeships.
 
Why UKAEA? 
I chose UKAEA because it was the only apprenticeship in the UK that revolved around nuclear fusion which meant a lot to me as I already had a passion for nuclear physics and sustainable energy. UKAEA also has a great record for providing many opportunities for its apprentices. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
In 5 years I will have finished my apprenticeship and be working towards a degree in order to get work towards the progress of ITER or DEMO.



Alex
  Alex
  3rd year Electrical Engineering Apprentice


What made you decide to do an apprenticeship
To be honest, I just really wanted to work at Culham, and the apprenticeship scheme seemed to be the most direct way to get a foot in the door at the time, as opposed to entering through the graduate or PhD training schemes, or gaining experience elsewhere and applying for a regular job. Apart from that, as virtually everyone I knew was expecting to go to university, I liked the idea of doing something a bit off the beaten path, and I wasn’t afraid of getting my hands dirty. 

How did you hear about the UKAEA apprenticeship scheme? 
It all began one day in 2007 when The Sun Dome appeared in the hall of my primary school, a sort of pop-up planetarium which you go inside, lay on the floor and watch a fantastic virtual tour of the JET complex while they attempt to explain nuclear fusion to 10-year olds without mentioning the word “nuclear”. I remember being intrigued to learn that, unbeknownst to me at the time, scientists had managed to recreate the process that powers the sun just over 1000 metres away from my classroom in Clifton Hampden.  

Why UKAEA? 
If, like me, you take a great interest in the history and future of fusion research, Culham is the place to be. The site is home to the record-breaking JET tokamak and the latest iteration of the UK’s fusion programme, MAST-U, as well as newer divisions of UKAEA that have spun off from fusion research, namely RACE and the MRF. As an apprentice, you have a unique and highly rewarding opportunity to experience several different UKAEA departments and see all there is to see. 

Is there a particular area of expertise you feel more drawn to? 
I am very keen on all aspects of electronics, which I enjoyed as a GCSE subject and subsequently as a hobby. I got into computer programming while at primary school because I wanted to make games, so I have accumulated a fair bit of experience over the years. I therefore feel like I would thrive at RACE and in heavily instrumentation and control-based placements. 




Stephen
  Stephen
  1st Year - IT Support Apprenticeship


Why did you choose an apprenticeship at UKAEA?
The main reason I chose to become an apprentice at UKAEA was to expand my knowledge on certain things, and work together with other people as part of a team in order to solve a variety of different problems. It’s really helped me to decide which part of IT I want to go into in the future.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I really see myself working with or around IT, even if it is a certain aspect of it – self employment is a possibility!





Maili
  Maili
  1st Year - Procurement Apprenticeship


Why did you choose an apprenticeship scheme?
The idea of doing training on the job as well as studying at college one day a week suited my ability to work as it meant I’m gaining experience and learning new things at the same time.

What attracted you to UKAEA?
I had seen that the UKAEA Apprentice Scheme had been presented many awards recently and so I knew that they were a good company and had a structured apprentice scheme that I would be going into.





Laura
  Laura
  1st Year - HR Support Apprenticeship


Why did you choose an apprenticeship scheme?
I have never really known what it was I wanted to do with my life. I did a degree in Interior Design and then worked in a school for a couple of years but neither really appealed as potential careers. I really wanted something I could work towards. Going back to college with an apprenticeship allows me to retrain in some-thing that I find really interesting and has the potential to progress into a career in the future. It’s great to be working and learning at the same time. I am really enjoying the college course and the variety of tasks I get to do, anything from inputting data into letters to organising a graduation event. It’s been really interesting so far, I’m looking forward to the next year.





George
  George
  1st Year - Finance Apprenticeship


What have been your highlights so far?
Its hard to decide because genuinely everything has been brilliant. But one of the highlights is the people I work with, who have been so welcoming, funny and helpful. The atmosphere is great and it makes working very enjoyable. Also meeting some of the other apprentices who you share this experience with has been great.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
In 5 years’ time I see myself as a fully qualified accountant, hopefully back working at UKAEA full time as it’s a great place to work.




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