Sellafield's 48-year-old apprentice is proving that age should never be a barrier to a career change.

Stephen Woodburn, from Egremont, recently completed his health physics monitor apprenticeship at Energus after joining Sellafield Ltd two years ago.

This came after a 30-year career in joinery and a teaching stint at Lakes College.


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Mr Woodburn said: "My latest career move has changed my life.

“I’ve wanted to work at Sellafield for a long time for a number of reasons.

"I live in Egremont so it’s on my doorstep, I have friends who work for the company who really enjoy their job, and I’m interested in the wide range of activities at the site.

"I wish I’d applied years ago but holding me back was a lack of relevant qualifications."

Consequently, Mr Woodburn returned to college in 2013 to get his GCSEs in maths, English and science, which then allowed him to apply for an apprenticeship.

Despite being significantly older than fellow students, Mr Woodburn said: "I got on really well with everyone and the course was great.

"So much so that I was delighted to be named health physics apprentice of the year in October."

Health physics monitors play an integral role at Sellafield, providing radiological monitoring services that protect people, the nuclear site, and the environment.

Mr Woodburn's apprenticeship involved gaining practical experience in four locations, collaborating with operations and maintenance teams.

Mr Woodburn said: "I'm now fully training and really enjoying my role, working in a number of buildings and meeting different people every day – no two days are the same.

"There are lots of opportunities to progress which is exciting."

He added: "I encourage anyone to take on a new challenge, including a Sellafield apprenticeship.

"There is a wide range of disciplines to choose, from fire fighter to engineering design."

Applications to join Sellafield's graduate placements remain open until Sunday, February 11 (