National Apprenticeship Week blog – Andrew Bennett

Sustainability News

Andrew Bennett, project management apprentice, Sellafield Ltd

I chose an apprenticeship due to the rising costs of studying at university, the idea of earning while I learn was very attractive to me. I previously thought that apprenticeships were only available at 16 years old and were craft orientated, but when I took a closer look at what was on offer, I realised this wasn’t the case and applied straight away for a number of higher level programmes.

As a project management apprentice I move around the company every 6 months, spending time in different project disciplines such as:

  • project management
  • project controls
  • risk management
  • construction
  • commissioning
  • pre-operations

I started in September 2014 and have so far worked in operations, decommissioning and information services organisation. As part of the apprenticeship programme, I attend the University of Cumbria on day release to study for a Foundation Degree in project management.

As well as all the work related activity I have been part of so far during my apprenticeship I have also used the opportunity to develop in other ways. I have been an active member of the internal Apprentice Council and I have been selected as the team leader for this year’s ‘Brathay Apprenticeship Challenge’ team.

I would encourage anybody looking for an apprenticeship to at least consider a career in engineering. Engineering has many faces meaning there is something for everyone, whether you are hands on or admin orientated. An apprenticeship in engineering, particularly in nuclear, opens up great opportunities and gives you the skills to work on some of the world’s leading projects.

At school, they were always keen to push students down the university route. If your school is like this I would urge you to seek extra advice, whether that be from training providers, Inspira, friends or family to make sure you are aware of all the options available to you. An apprenticeship can take you to places you never thought you could go; I know it has for me.