Two young Sellafield workers swept to victory in a prestigious national skills awards.
Jack Riley and Jason Savage were named apprentices of the year in the National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN) awards last night.
Former Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson handed the pair their prizes at a glittering ceremony in Manchester.
Jack was named Scientific & Technical Apprentice of the Year and Jason scooped the top spot in the Business Support Apprentice of the Year category.
There was further glory for Jack, who went on to be named overall National Apprentice of the Year.
The 21-year-old, from Cleator Moor, said: “I feel so honoured to have been recognised by the National Skills Academy Nuclear.
“I could never have imagined that I would make it this far in the selection, never mind win.
“My apprenticeship has brought me so much more than academic achievements. I have been given so many amazing opportunities that I would not have been offered anywhere but Sellafield.”
Jason, of Pardshaw, near Cockermouth, said: “I am so grateful to receive this award. If you had told me on my first day that by the end of my apprenticeship I would be an award winner, I wouldn’t have believed you.
“Deciding to do an apprenticeship is one of the best decisions I have ever made, it has opened my life up to a wide range of opportunities which otherwise I wouldn’t have,”
Grace Frost, a Sellafield Ltd-sponsored graduate made it a hat-trick of awards for the company when she was crowned Science Graduate of the Year. She is currently on a work placement in Australia.
Les Studholme, Sellafield Ltd head of training, said: “We’re extremely proud of our young trainees at Sellafield.
“They all strive to develop their skills and become the best at what they day every day.
“These awards demonstrate the huge opportunities on offer for young people at Sellafield and the value we place on high quality training and development.
“Young people like Jack and Jason will be driving forward the decommissioning programme at Sellafield for many years to come and helping Cumbria cement its reputation as the UK’s Centre of Nuclear Excellence.
“They are great ambassadors for the company and for the value of apprenticeships.”
Sellafield is home to some of the most complex decommissioning challenges in the world. The site currently has 550 apprentices on its books.