At school, Elle Birchall was fascinated by nuclear physics. So is her role as Nuclear Engineering Degree Apprentice still fuelling her passion? We caught up with Elle at the National College for Nuclear in Cannington to find out.
“I’ve always loved science and maths, and I studied a module on nuclear physics that fascinated me. Initially, I planned to take an engineering degree but, after talking to a few people, I got excited about the idea of an apprenticeship. Through my course, I’ve been able to study theory and then have hands-on learning that puts it into practice. For me, it’s the best way to learn.
“I’m staying at Sedgemoor Campus and have really enjoyed the social side of being close to my course mates. We enjoy playing cards together in the evenings as a great way to unwind.
“What’s really surprised me about site is how quickly things progress. We came for a tour in October and returned in March. It was amazing how much had changed. I’m blown away by the opportunity this apprenticeship has offered me and I can’t wait for my first placement in Technical to start soon with the mechanical engineers at Bridgewater House.
“There are six placements, each of which lasts for six months, with a further five weeks at college in between. I’ve got a feeling that I’m going to get excited by each of them and might struggle to pick my favourite by the end!
“I’ll be using the placements to discover what suits me best and then apply for an appropriate role at the end. I’m very open minded and don’t really know at this stage where this might lead me.
“The best thing about Hinkley Point C is that it’s such an amazing project with so many incredible opportunities to broaden my knowledge. I’m meeting lots of people from all different backgrounds, and it’s fantastic that the apprentices get to integrate with more senior people.”
Did you know?
- The National College for Nuclear opened in February 2018
- There are currently hubs at Bridgwater & Taunton College, and in Cumbria
- EDF Energy and Sellafield Ltd will work alongside the Universities of Bristol and Cumbria to train up to 3,500 learners by 2020
- Facilities include virtual, simulated laboratories, which are effective tools for promoting student learning
- The college will provide our nuclear industry with the highly skilled engineers, scientists and technicians it needs to grow, as well as giving more people the opportunities they need to get on in today’s competitive job market