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Careers day with a difference

The pupils each have ten minutes to grill the professionals Credit: ITV Border

A local school has held a careers day with a bit of a difference in an effort to make it more fun for those involved.

St.Benedict's School in Whitehaven has set up a classroom full of professionals and given each of its Year 9 pupils ten minutes to grill them on their job.

The structure is similar to that of speed dating.

The school hopes that it will open up the pupils to the possibility of careers that they may never have considered.


New office opening 'great news'

Jamie Reed was among those who attended the opening of the new Westlake office Credit: Vanessa Jane Photography.

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has opened its new Westlakes office, Pillar House.

The office, at the Westlakes Science Park near Whitehaven, can accommodate 180 employees, and 159 have already moved in.

Jamie Reed attended the opening, and described the office as great news for West Cumbria.

“The opening of the new Jacobs office is a clear commitment to the region and presents great opportunity.

"The new office will be home to many graduates, apprentices and trainees.

"This new investment, the new facilities and the support for young people is great news for West Cumbria.”

– Jamie Reed, MP for Copeland

Jacobs has 600 employees based across Cumbria.

Workers walkout: Carlisle Settle rail line

Workers are protesting redundancies Credit: PA

Workers on the historic Carlisle Settle rail line have walked out again as part of a long-running dispute over compulsory redundancies.

The 24-hour stoppage began at midnight.

The employees are members of the RMT rail union and provide a trolly catering service on the Northern Rail trains that use the line.

They are protesting the Settle and Carlisle Development Company's decision to make redundancies.

Jobs cut at MOD Eskmeals

The number of employees at MOD Eskmeals will be reduced as part of money-saving plans announced by the Ministry of Defence.

QinetiQ, the company that runs MOD Eskmeals on behalf of the MoD, released a statement saying that the site will stay open and that 34 jobs will remain there.

However 44 jobs are to be cut, with employees either facing compulsory redundancy or reemployment within the company.

The cuts will reportedly save the MOD £3million a year.

"We are sorry that this decision has had to be taken which supports the Government’s drive to reduce budgets and make savings. These changes will lead to a £3 million saving to the MOD.

“The site will not be closing, 34 employees will remain in place, and work will continue. When necessary, there will also be the ability to increase numbers at the site temporarily for additional testing."

– QinetiQ spokesperson

Council leader: lessons can be learned from nuclear management shake-up

The coming changes to Sellafield management should be seen as an "opportunity" to learn according to the leader of Copeland Council.

In a statement, Cllr Elaine Woodburn praised what she called the Nuclear Management Partners "progress" until this point, while recognising a need for change.

"...I think we can all accept that though this model has been successful, it is not the right way forward for the increased complexity and scale we face now and in the future."

– Cllr Elaine Woodburn, leader of Copeland Council

However she made clear that she would not accept change for the sake of it, and that she views the shake-up as an opportunity to make "social value" central to the site.

“We can all learn the lessons from this and not assume that a different model automatically means a better model. We should collectively use this as an opportunity to ensure that social value and socio economics is central, and built into all site activities and contracts henceforth."

– Cllr Elaine Woodburn, leader of Copeland Council

She also addressed the possible challenges faced as the transition unfolds, stating that she is "reassured" by the capabilities of those working at the site.

"However, we now need reassurance that the decommissioning mission will not suffer whilst these huge administrative changes take place, and I am reassured that the extremely talented and capable workforce will continue the lead the safe clean up the site"

– Cllr Elaine Woodburn, leader of Copeland Council


Edward Davey: Sellafield change 'best way forward'

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey has released a statement on the coming changes at Sellafield.

He says that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has concluded that these changes are the "best way forward".

He confirms that Nuclear Managament Partners have lost ownership of Sellafield ltd, and that Sellafield will now become a 'subsidiary' of the NDA.

"Under the new arrangement, Sellafield Limited will become a subsidiary of the NDA and will continue to be led by a world class team, who will be appointed and governed by a newly-constituted Board of the Site Licence Company"

– Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

He says that the "safe and secure operation of the Sellafield site" will remain a priority.

You can read his full statement here.

Changes will 'simplify' Sellafield management

"New, simplified management plans" are to be introduced at Sellafield, the government has announced today.

It's released a statement saying the changes will streamline the relationship between Sellafield ltd and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, following a year long review.

Here's some of the key points:

  • Nuclear Management Partners have lost ownership of Sellafield.
  • Instead, it'll be run by the NDA.
  • The day to day management of Sellafield will continue to be by an executive team
  • They will report to a new board.
  • The private sector will become a supplier to Sellafield Ltd

The NDA hopes these plans will improve performance and value for money:

“This decision is the result of careful consideration and review of various commercial approaches in use where the combination of public and private sector comes together to deliver complex programmes and taxpayer value.

“I believe we can build on progress to date and drive further improvements in performance and value for money by enhancing the capability of the Site Licensed Company (Sellafield Ltd) through a different approach.”

– John Clarke, NDA CEO

The NDA has said it anticipates the full co-operation of Nuclear Management Partners during the changes, which will take place over the next 12-15 months.

You can read the full statement here.

Sellafield clean-up company's contract to be terminated

Sellafield clean-up set to change Credit: ITV Border

The consortium responsible for the clean-up of Sellafield is to be replaced.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority confirmed that it has been working with the government and industry experts to pursue alternatives to the Nuclear Management Partners:

“The NDA has been working with Government and industry experts on alternative options at Sellafield.

This will deliver more effective progress in decommissioning the biggest and most complex nuclear site in Europe and provide the best outcome for the public.

No further information will be released until we have discussed this with all parties involved, including staff.”

– DECC Spokesperson

The Nuclear Management Partners first won the contract in 2008.

This contract was renewed in 2013 despite criticism after the National Audit Office and the House of Commons public accounts committee found the group had repeatedly missed deadlines and had gone over budget.

However it seems this contract has now been terminated.

The total cost of decommissioning is estimated to be around £6.75 billion and the consortium is responsible for 10,000 staff at Sellafield.

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