Autumn 2019

New kids on the block

Three engineering apprentices have completed their four-year apprenticeships with flying colours. 

In a continual effort to nurture talent within James Fisher Nuclear (JFN) and address an anticipated STEM skills gap, the company has been focusing on the development of engineering apprentices and providing a structured approach to training.

As part of this drive, Nathan Arrowsmith joined JFN as an apprentice analysis engineer in 2015, and both Ellis McDonald and David Lyde joined as apprentice mechanical design engineers in the same year. 

They spent the first year of their apprenticeships studying theoretical and practical engineering modules at college. For their second, third and fourth years, each spent four days a week at JFN working on projects and putting into practice the knowledge and skills learnt from college. The apprentices underwent a broad range of technical training including computer aided design and NEC3 appreciation, and attended the Nuclear Institute’s ‘Introduction to Waste Management and Decommissioning’ event, created for recruits starting out in the nuclear industry.

They also attended college one day a week to continue their qualification modules, ending up with an advanced level apprenticeship in engineering manufacture, comprising a Level 3 NVQ extended diploma in engineering technical support and supplemented by a Level 4 HNC diploma in manufacturing engineering.

David and Nathan chose to continue their studies in mechanical engineering on the road to becoming chartered engineers and Ellis has moved to the JFN project management team.

Nic Maher, training manager at JFN, says engaging with STEM activities is key to filling the anticipated skills gap in the nuclear industry:

‘By raising awareness among young people of the benefits of a career in nuclear we can help to encourage the next generation to fulfil the broad skills requirement of the industry.'

JFN’s investment in apprentice development provides fresh creative input to the business and ‘creates a talent pipeline of future subject matter experts.’

Nic adds.

 

[Image: In the middle, left to right: Ellis McDonald, David Lyde and Nathan Arrowsmith receive their awards]

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