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AWE marks 60 years of Apprenticeships

Apprentices in the 1950s Credit: AWE

AWE, the Atomic Weapons Establishment is preparing to celebrate national apprenticeship week. The company has a long tradition of running a apprenticeship schemes.

The event is part of the eighth annual National Apprenticeship Week, which is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the economy.

AWE has had been running apprenticeship schemes for over 60 years. Currently, 11% of its workforce is made up of former apprentices.

Rob Cottrell, AWE’s Skills Academy Manager, said: “Apprenticeships allow AWE to grow its own talent pool by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce and many of our former apprentices have worked their way up through the company to senior leadership positions.”

Apprentices today Credit: AWE

Woman rescued from caravan fire

Fire fighters rescued a woman from a mobile home fire in West Berkshire during the early hours.

Crews from Hampshire and Berkshire were called to Ravenswing Caravan Park at 3am. They found a heavily smoke-logged property and rescued the woman found inside.

She was carried to safety by fire fighters in breathing apparatus and treated at the scene by fire fighters and paramedics before being taken to hospital. She is in a serious but stable condition.

Trevor Ferguson, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service Deputy Chief Fire Officer, said: 'The cause of the fire isn’t yet known and a specialist fire investigation officer will be working with police forensic teams to determine this.

'I’d like to thank the fire fighters and paramedics who attended for their hard work, they did an excellent job. Our thoughts are with the lady who was injured and we wish her a speedy recovery.'

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Hundreds at Trident nuclear weapons protest

The Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston, Berkshire Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

About 300 protesters in Berkshire have been demonstrating against replacing the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system.

A seven-mile "peace scarf", which took eight months to knit, was stretched from the Atomic Weapons Establishments in Aldermaston to Burghfield.

Police closed several roads for about five minutes at 1pm to enable all of the pieces of material to be connected for the whole seven-mile distance.

The sites in Aldermaston and Burghfield provide the warheads for the submarine-launched missile system.

  1. Kate Bunkall

Atomic weapons plant admits failings

An atomic weapons plant has been accused of failing to protect its staff during a fire at the Berkshire base three years ago.

In a prosecution brought by the Health & Safety Executive, the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston today pleaded guilty to one charge of not ensuring the safety of employees.

One worker suffered burns to his face and arm in the fire which broke out in the building where explosives were being manufactured, in August 2010. Kate Bunkall sent this report from Reading Crown Court.

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Weapons firm issues statement after fire warning

The Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire could be prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive over a fire two years ago.

One worker was left with burns to his arm and face after a blaze broke out in a building where explosives were housed.

The firm is due to appear before Reading Magistrates Court on August 6, for the first hearing in the case.

AWE plc deeply regrets the occurrence of the fire at our Aldermaston site. Ensuring the safety of our staff, neighbours and local community is AWE's highest priority.

"Following the fire, we quickly initiated a thorough, independently-led investigation and published the resulting report in June 2011.

"The specific operation being carried out at the time of the fire was immediately suspended and will not be re-started until a safe alternative process has been agreed with our Regulators.

"In view of the impending legal action, any further comment would be inappropriate at this time."

– Andrew Jupp, AWE’s Managing Director

Weapons firm faces fine over blaze

The Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire could be prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive over a fire two years ago.

One worker was left with burns to his arm and face after a blaze broke out in a building where explosives were housed.

An investigation revealed issues with control systems put in place by AWE plc.

The firm is due to appear before Reading Magistrates Court on August 6, for the first hearing in the case.

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