I first did work experience at Cavendish Nuclear five years ago and knew then I wanted to join the company. I joined their apprenticeship scheme in September 2014 and have really grown in confidence as a developing professional since I’ve been with them.
I hope to continue with my academic studies when my apprenticeship finishes in September 2018 and complete my degree to become a Mechanical Engineer.
After attending our leadership event held by Simon Bowen, Chief Executive I left with a real insight into the many ways I could improve and develop knowledge within the business through various platforms, such as the recently established Women’s Network. I have also met so many people who continue to support my development and it’s amazing how much support there is for future talent within the business!
I’m currently in my third year of my Advanced Apprentice CAD Design apprenticeship and my current location is at Cavendish Nuclear’s design office Radar Road, in Leicester where no two days are the same. The design office is where engineers bring us conceptual drawings and once we receive them we then model the drawings creating a technical CAD design which they can then work from and can be used as part of the manufacturing process.
I like to get involved with areas outside of the design office as well and I’m very enthusiastic about the company and its targets for the future.
I’m getting more involved in Women’s Network and I am the communication point of contact for our Radar Road site, which involves helping to keep the communications flowing about what’s happening and ensuring people are kept informed.
I am also highly positive for encouraging young people into this industry through STEM activities which I am also very involved with.
Before joining Cavendish Nuclear as an apprentice, I completed my GCSE’s and then started my A-levels, but soon realised it wasn’t the best route for me and that an apprenticeship better suited my skillset and ambitions. I’ve always felt that having practical experience whilst learning at the same time would be an effective way to build a successful career in engineering.
I come from a family of engineers and I’ve always been interested in understanding the ways in which things operate and work. Cavendish Nuclear has given me that deeper understanding in engineering and a wider perspective of how the nuclear industry as a whole functions. Currently my time at Cavendish Nuclear has been split between working within the EDF Spares department managing demand spares projects and attending classroom sessions at university on a day release basis, aiming to successfully attain a Mechanical Engineering Degree. Working in the nuclear industry has given me a chance to face many challenges and work on a range of projects, many of which are quite challenging and have tight deadlines to be met, however this has helped me develop both professionally and personally. I have also had the opportunity to visit a nuclear power station, which has allowed me to understand the fundamental engineering and workings of a power station.
My top tip is to start developing your career at a young age!
Throughout sixth form I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I left however I am very much a believer of keeping your options open which made me realise that becoming apprentice was the right thing for me. By joining a company like Cavendish Nuclear you’re given a vast opportunity for different job paths. I am also able to get paid while gaining qualifications which will help me on my career path.
I’ve recently gained my HNC (Higher National Certificate) in Applied Chemistry and I am now working towards a HND (Higher National Diploma). In my first year I was at college full time and I now attend one day a week with the rest of the time spent in the workplace. After gaining my HND in Applied Chemistry I aim to study a top up Degree, which is equivalent to a foundation degree.
Every day I work in the labs getting ‘hands on’ with the analysis we carry out here at Greeson Court in Cumbria, this also helps me gain training and techniques that you can’t learn by sitting in a classroom. Apprentices at our Environmental Labs rotate to different areas to enable us to gain a real range of knowledge and expertise in all areas of the laboratory. I am currently working in a development area of the lab where any improvements to methods are investigated and validated - eliminating hazards and working out different routes of getting to a final product, with an aim to make the lab run smoother.
At Cavendish Nuclear all apprentices attend the Apprentice Development Programme. We participate in 8 different modules during our second year, with all the apprentices from across the country joining the programme. You get to learn lots of business skills such as presentation skills, personal management and interpersonal effectiveness. This is also a wonderful opportunity to share stories and meet people who are in the exact same position as you are.