Dream Placement: How it made a difference

Dream Placement: How it has helped our winners

Alex Dawson
Wood’s Cumbria apprentice of the year 2019

Dream-Placement-Impact-Alex-Dawson-Wood-Centre-for-Leadership-Performance-Cumbria.jpgA budding engineer who is working on a vital project to clean up one of Europe’s most hazardous buildings has won a coveted award from his employers.

Alex Dawson, 20, from Cockermouth in West Cumbria, is this year’s winner of Wood’s Cumbria Apprentice Programme Special Achievement Award.

He began his engineering design and draughtsperson apprenticeship in 2017 after doing work experience with Wood under the Dream Placement scheme.

Based at Westlakes, near Whitehaven, he is now working with i3 to enable retrieval of waste from the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo at Sellafield.

Alex said: “I am learning so much on this project because there is something different every day. It is a real insight to see how a major engineering project works.

“Wood is a fantastic company and I want to stay and progress as far as I can, either in mechanical engineering or project management.”

Alex, a former pupil at Cockermouth School, is studying for an HNC in mechanical engineering at GEN2 as part of his training.

Mark Ritchie, his line manager, said: “Alex has shown immense enthusiasm to learn and to undertake any task. His willingness and adaptability within one of our decommissioning projects has proved impressive and courageous given his relative inexperience. Alongside this commitment, he has taken time out to offer his apprenticeship experience and advice to others in a similar position. We are all immensely proud of Alex and his achievements.”

Wood employs 350 people in West Cumbria including 12 apprentices. Paul Fletcher, Wood’s Sellafield director, said: “We provide high quality apprentice training which will enable talented young engineers like Alex to secure skilled, high-value jobs in the nuclear workforce of the future.”

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