Young visitors have their eyes opened to life as an Apprentice at Harwell Campus

Potential apprentices visiting STFC’s ISIS neutron and muon beamline research facility.
(Credit: STFC)

17 August 2016 – Over 70 young people attended the Apprentices Open Day at the Harwell Research Campus today and to learn about career opportunities as an engineering apprentice working on projects ranging from building particle accelerators to testing satellites.

The Open Day offered the visitors, aged from 14-18, a chance to meet many of the current apprentices at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and chat with them about their experiences. The visitors were also able to try their hands at a range of activities that could be undertaken as part of four years paid training in electrical, electronic, mechanical and software engineering.

Learn more about the STFC apprentice scheme.

Director of STFC’s RAL Space Dr Chris Mutlow said ‘The opportunities that the STFC apprentice scheme can offer are many. For example here at RAL Space we have a long and proud history of successfully supporting the apprentices to give them the best start in their careers in Space Engineering. We have apprentices in our Space test facility who are involved in testing instrumentation that goes in to space and will contribute to extremely important space missions – we are offering fantastic opportunities to be part of great teams involved in cutting edge work’.

In RAL Space every single person that has come through and works in the world leading Precision Development Facility has been a RAL apprentice. The Facility Manager Mat Beardsley himself started off as an apprentice at STFC.

One of Mat’s team is Luke Bushnell who came through the apprentice scheme and said of the experience ‘It’s exciting to know that the parts and assemblies I’ve manufactured in my time at RAL Space are now out in space collecting data for weather forecasting or supporting research into the distant origins of the Universe’.

As well as working at the Harwell campus the apprentices also get the opportunity to undertake short term international placements. This summer 11 of the STFC apprentices are working at other major international laboratories including CERN, the home of the Large Hadron Collider; the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL).

Ashley Churchman has just completed a three-week placement at the ESRF as part of his apprenticeship at STFC and this was his third placement abroad through the STFC apprenticeship scheme after already working at CERN and ILL. His mission this summer was to design and assemble a security circuit to house an X-ray camera on ESRF’s ID06 beamline. Speaking of the experience Ashley said ‘My supervisor and colleagues here have put a lot of trust in me. They appreciate that I’ve done an apprenticeship and have not made me start from the basics for this placement.’

The young visitors attending the Apprentices Open Day today will get a snapshot of the unique nature of the work undertaken at the STFC laboratories and for some of them see a potential career path working at one of the world's leading scientific and engineering research organisations.

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Media contact

Jake Gilmore,
STFC Media Manager

Notes to Editors

STFC offers a number of electrical, electronic and mechanical apprenticeships. A Council apprentice is taken on for 4 years of paid training, supervised by the Council. The salary is competitive and the apprenticeship is an ideal start to a career in engineering.

The unique nature of the work undertaken at the STFC laboratories contributes to an interesting, enjoyable and rewarding period of training in one of the world's leading scientific and engineering research organisations.

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000