Nuclear Skills Strategy Group

16 Mar 2020

UK Nuclear Skills Awards 2020

The Hilton Manchester welcomed the nuclear industry’s twelfth annual UK Nuclear Skills Awards on the 12th March.  During the evening the nuclear stars of the present and future were announced.

The awards, organised by NSAN and Cogent Skills, were hosted by TV presenter Dallas Campbell.

The event brought the nuclear industry together to celebrate the success and high achievement of individuals nominated for awards in Apprentice, Graduate, STEM, Subject Matter Expert and Equality, Inclusion and Diversity disciplines.

The main sponsor for the evening was the NDA. The NDA’s Director of UK Waste Operations, Corhyn Parr officially welcomed representatives from industry, government and training providers to the Skills Awards. 

The top award of the evening was the heavily contested UK Nuclear Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by Westinghouse Springfields, which was won by Heather Lovell from Westinghouse. The UK Nuclear Apprentice of the Year is selected from all the apprentice category winners.   Heather also won the Engineering Apprentice of the Year category which was sponsored by ECITB.

Heather completed her Apprenticeship in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering and currently works as a Trainee Engineer.

Heather is also the Chair of the Westinghouse Apprentice Safety Improvement team and has been key in the development of apprentice mentoring card packs with the aim of supporting apprentice’s wellbeing and mental health.

Taking the title of Business Services Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by the Nuclear Industry Benevolent Fund (TNIBF), was Emily Bretnall from Nuvia UK.  Emily completed her apprenticeship in Human Resources and works as a Human Resources Assistant.

Taking the title of Scientific Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by NSSG, was Sophie Kelly from Sellafield Ltd.  Sophie completed a Health Physics Monitor apprenticeship
and works as a Health Physics Monitor.

Taking the title of the Engineering Graduate of the Year, sponsored by Dounreay Sites Restoration Ltd was Amr Salah from the National Nuclear Laboratory.  Amr graduated from the University of Sheffield with a Chemical Engineering (MEng) and works as a Strategic Advisor.

The winner of the Science Graduate of the Year, sponsored by NSAN, was Ashley Hanley who works for Atkins SNC-Lavalin. Ashley completed a Master of Physics Degree and currently works as an Assistant Physicist.

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Champion of the Year, sponsored by Sellafield Ltd, was awarded to Josephine Stabler from Sellafield Ltd. Josephine has launched and grown the Site Autism Support Network (SASN) which she co-chairs. This now covers all NDA sites and has over 110 members and is still growing.

The winner of the STEM Ambassador of the Year, sponsored by Jacobs (formerly Wood Nuclear) was Lindsey Anderson from Dounreay Sites Restoration Ltd.  Lindsey works part-time as a Deputy Quality Manager whilst delivering a number of STEM activities and STEM events in her own time.

Taking the title of Subject Matter Expert of the Year, sponsored by The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) was Oliver Hayes from the Office for Nuclear Regulation. Oliver is a Nuclear Safety Project Inspector, specialising in permissioning.

Corhyn Parr, Director of Integrated Waste from the Main Sponsor NDA said:
“The NDA is proud to sponsor the UK Nuclear Skills Awards, an event which shows the huge talent we have across the industry and I would like to congratulate all of the finalists and winners.

Our work demands innovative solutions and that’s why we constantly strive to attract and maintain a talented workforce.  It is essential we provide a ladder of opportunity for people to help us realise our ambitions and aspirations for the future by ensuring we have the right skills to help take forward our decommissioning mission.”


Joanna Woolf, CEO of Cogent Skills said:
“Now in their 12th Year, these fantastic Nuclear Skills Awards are once again shining a light on the UK nuclear sector’s talent. I am so delighted to congratulate both the winners and the finalists. 

These Awards continue to show the commitment the nuclear industry has to investing in workforce skills and developing people. All the nominees and winners are a real credit to the sector and we wish them continued success in their careers and in acting as such fantastic role models to others in the sector.”

 Jo Tipa, Managing Director of NSAN said:
“The UK Nuclear Skills Awards highlight the exceptional quality of people of all levels, who are committed to careers in the nuclear sector.   The Dinner also shines a light the vital work done by the training and education professionals working in and with the nuclear industry across the UK.

I would like to personally congratulate all of the winners and finalists; they are all inspirational examples of the talent that exists in our sector.  I wish them all the very best for the future.”