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Dounreay Index



The latest group of young people from Caithness to be trained at Dounreay today received their indentures of apprenticeship and certificates of training.

The awards, covering apprenticeships in engineering and technician disciplines, scientific training and secretarial skills, were presented at a ceremony in the Pentland Hotel, Thurso.

A total of 13 young people completed the training programmes. Twelve have now found employment with contractors at Dounreay.

The training programmes at Dounreay are delivered by UKAEA in conjunction with North Highland College on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Contractors participating in the schemes are UKAEA, RWE Nukem and Johnson Controls.

Sandy McWhirter, UKAEA’s head of external affairs at Dounreay, who presented the awards, told the young people they were entering an industry going through great change.  “Whereas many of your predecessors since 1955 joined a programme of research and development that carried with it the potential for security of employment for life, the workplace you are entering today is very different.

“Today, the task is to clean out and dismantle the legacy of that programme. That work has a finite and progressively shortening lifespan.  For those of you joining UKAEA, you will find an organisation with a very different outlook from previous generations, a contractor competing for work instead of a Government organisation tasked with research and development on behalf of the nation.

“One thing that has remained constant is the quality of training you receive, however. I am confident that the skills and experience you have gained, and continue to gain, will equip you to compete in this new environment, and provide you with the skills to fulfil your full potential.

You have taken the first step on the adventure, and I congratulate you wholeheartedly.”

Engineering - Graham Fryer (22), from Latheron; David McCarthy (21) from Bowermadden; Gordon Mackay (20) from Watten; Brian Sinclair (21) from Watten; Chris Chesters (20) from Reay; Graeme Black (21) from Thurso; Kevin Macleod (21) from Castletown; Steven Taylor (21) from Wick.

Technical – John Gunn (21), from Bardnaclavan.

Scientific – Andrea O’Kane (18) from Halkirk; James Sutherland (18) from Halkirk; Louise Harcus (20) from Wick.

Secretarial – Claire Treasurer (19) from Thurso.