To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2018 (5th-9th March), Cavendish Nuclear is throwing the spotlight on five employees who started their careers as apprentices – exploring how their experiences have influenced and shaped their careers.

Phil Craig – Managing Director, Dounreay  

Charlotte Vernon – Junior Analyst              

Jack Tointon – Apprentice    

Matthew Johnson – Junior Analyst

Nick Wibberley – EDF Operations Centre Lead

Cavendish Nuclear is proud of its apprentice scheme which typically lasts up to four years and has a 100% success rate in recruiting apprentices into full time employment at the end of each programme.

At Cavendish Nuclear we put people first. A career with us is hugely rewarding and exciting; one that stretches and challenges individuals to be the best they can be. When joining us, you know that’s exactly what you’ll get.

Interested in applying for the Cavendish Nuclear apprentice scheme? In the first instance please contact Talent@Cavendishnuclear.com . Alternatively, you can take a look at our parent Company website to view the apprentice schemes we have on offer at babcockinternational.com/Careers/Apprenticeships

Phil Craig

Managing Director, Dounreay

 

 

Phil Craig (38) born in Salford, grew up in Warrington where he attended High School. He completed a work placement in the final year of High School and when he left he was accepted onto a modern apprenticeship programme with that same company. 

Phil spent 8 years completing his NVQ levels 2, 3 and 4 as well as undertaking a programme of day release at college and then university completing his ONC, HNC and Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Following completion of his degree he started work completing stress and strain calculations for many major nuclear facilities across the UK. Phil progressed into cost control, project engineering and latterly project management. From here he followed a path of more complex management of projects / programmes and then moved into business development. He led the business development for the newly formed Cavendish Nuclear in 2009 – 2011 securing, with a very strong team, over £1.5bn of work at a time when the company was looking to grow significantly.

Following this Phil moved into general management and managed Cavendish Nuclear’s EDF account for more than 3 years securing the lifetime enterprise agreement between Cavendish Nuclear and EDF. He currently works as the Managing Director for Dounreay, on behalf of the Cavendish Dounreay Partnership, a Category 1 Nuclear Licenced site on the North Coast of Scotland.

Did you always want to work in the nuclear industry?

No I was interested in taking things apart from a young age. What struck me during my work placement was the technical drawing element within the design office and being able to see the drawing come to life in the workshop. I really wanted to try that. The fact that they were a nuclear company didn’t really occur or matter to me at the time. It was all about doing something I liked.

What was your first impression of Cavendish Nuclear?

I was part of an acquisition that the Babcock Group made in 2009 so I’ve been working since the inception of the nuclear business unit and latterly Cavendish Nuclear. My first impression of Babcock was a very positive one. They hold very similar values to me personally. They care about long term relationships with customers and are not in the short term contracting game as well as wanting to deliver safe and complex solutions that save the UK taxpayer money. From vast war ships to analytical sampling the underlying values remain and I think that is very admirable in a company.

What have you learned about yourself during the apprenticeship?

That every opportunity should be seized. Whether it scares you or disheartens you slightly all experiences really do make us more rounded engineers, managers and leaders. On some placements I learnt nothing more than how I would not do things when I was a leader. Other placements / projects challenged and pushed me to develop in ways I didn’t realise until later.

Where would you like to be five years from now?

In a role that is as inspiring and demanding as the Managing Director of Dounreay has been. I am open to everything and no longer look at a rigid five year plan. As I said earlier I’d like to think I will grab any opportunity that I am given. 

Charlotte Vernon

Junior Analyst

 

 

Charlotte Vernon (22) grew up in Gosforth, Cumbria where she travelled to attend Millom Comprehensive School and continued to do A-levels at the 6th Form there. She was working in a local restaurant when she joined Cavendish Nuclear as a Scientific Apprentice in 2013. She is now working as an analyst at Cavendish Nuclear’s Greeson Court Laboratories analysing environmental samples from nuclear sites around the country.

Did you always want to work in the nuclear industry?

Living close to Sellafield with most of my family employed by them, the nuclear industry has always played a role in my life. However it was not where I saw myself having a career. Initially my interest was in biology but I am finding the nuclear industry a great place to work and learn.

What was your first impression of Cavendish Nuclear?

It seemed to be a huge company with many opportunities and locations meaning you can really delve into what interests you most and where your talents lie. This was something that really drew me to the company.

What have you learned about yourself during the apprenticeship?

During my apprenticeship I grew in confidence, I had belief in myself to complete tasks and challenges I was given, particularly those that didn’t fall into the general science remit. For example, I am much more confident at public speaking.

Where would you like to be five years from now?

I would love to have developed in my technical role, completing a degree in my field of work and continuing to expand my knowledge and expertise. I would also hope to take on more responsibility and look towards a management role within the company.

Jack Tointon

Apprentice

 

 

Jack Tointon (22) grew up in a town called Ibstock, situated in the Leicestershire countryside. This is where he attended Ashby School. He had just finished his first year of a-levels when he was offered a chance at Cavendish Nuclear as an electrical apprentice in 2013. He is now working as an electrical engineer in Whetstone’s electrical, test & assembly facility.

Did you always want to work in the nuclear industry 

I initially wanted to become just an electrician but being able to see the industry through a family member working in the company, I was able to see the mass opportunities I could branch into within the nuclear industry.

What was your first impression of Cavendish Nuclear?

What a great opportunity to develop my career. I started on the apprentice programme, meeting other apprentices like myself from all over the UK. It was a great way of connecting and meeting new people, like directors and engineers. This was a great way to get my name out there within the company.

What have you learned about yourself during the apprenticeship?

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the four years it’s taken to complete my program. Being thrown in at the deep end with college work and jobs at work really tested my strength and character. At times I wanted to throw the towel in but I’ve been good enough to have a great support around me. And now I’ve come out the other end knowing what direction I want to push myself in.

Where would you like to be five years from now?

Hopefully back learning at college, learning a language and all about international business management, to help us branch our company’s reach into the nuclear sector of Europe and beyond

Matthew Johnson

Junior Analyst

 

 

Matthew Johnson (23) was born in Whitehaven where he attended Whitehaven secondary school and sixth form. After finishing his A-levels he joined Cavendish Nuclear as a scientific apprentice in 2013. He is now working as a junior analyst at the Greeson Court Laboratories in the mass spectrometry department.

Did you always want to work in the nuclear industry?

At school I was always interested in the science-based subjects, mainly chemistry. In 2010 I managed to secure a week’s work experience on the Sellafield site, working as part of a team of chemical engineers. This experience really gave me the drive to want to be involved with the industry.

What was your first impression of Cavendish Nuclear?

My first impressions of the company were good as everyone within the Greeson Court laboratories was very friendly and approachable. Within weeks I was able to form good working relationships with staff members at various different levels - because of this I felt very comfortable working for the company.

What have you learned about yourself during the apprenticeship?

I have learnt that I pick things up better by doing on-the-job training alongside the theory of the job, rather than being all classroom based. I also discovered that I’m able to adapt to different situations well as I worked in multiple different teams during the apprenticeship.

Where would you like to be five years from now?

I would like to be still working at Greeson Court but hopefully as a laboratory analyst, which is a role with more responsibilities within the mass spectrometry team. I am hoping that within the next five years I will continue to develop and gain new skills to help the team.

Nick Wibberley

EDF Operations Centre Lead

 

 

Nick Wibberley (21) grew up in Manchester where he attended Walkden High School and Trafford College. He was a student when he joined Cavendish Nuclear as an Electrical Design Apprentice in 2013. He is now working as EDF Operations Centre Lead at Radar Road managing event recovery for all EDF power stations.

Did you always want to work in the nuclear industry?

If I am honest, I didn’t! The original plan was to work with my dad selling cars; however after some work experience (predominately making cups of tea) I realised it wasn’t really what I wanted to do.

What was your first impression of Cavendish Nuclear?

I was fairly nervous on the first day in the Irlam office however I soon settled in after meeting my mentor Paul and my ‘buddy’ Dan. I made some good friends within the first few months that I still keep in touch with now.

What have you learned about yourself during the apprenticeship?

I have learnt to challenge myself more and more and I feel I have grown in confidence. I now work a lot better within a team and individually which will be a great trait to possess during my working career.

Where would you like to be five years from now?

I think the Chief Exec role will take a little longer than 5 years… so I will be focusing on completing my degree and continuing to gain experience in project/commercial work which I have taken an interest in.