NuGen's Bright Sparks programme launches to find young talent for Cumbria's energy sector

Credit: ITV Border

An initiative designed to find the next generation of young people to work in the nuclear and electricity generating industries has been launched in West Cumbria.

"Bright Sparks" is a programme set-up by NuGen, the company behind the planned new nuclear power station at Moorside near Sellafield.

160 schoolchildren from three west Cumbrian schools have spent today getting an overview of the power industry, its impact on the world and finding out about what sort of jobs could one day be available to them.

The event, near Workington, included several interactive displays, allowing them to see how electricity can be generated.

The students were from years 9 and 10 at Whitehaven Academy, St. Benedict's in Whitehaven and Millom School. Three of them explained what they thought of the day:

I think it's a really good experience and it's been really interesting so far because you've got to physically have a go at some of the activities instead of just listening to something."

Student

I would like a career in science and today is encouraging more people to think about it."

Student
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The CEO of NuGen, Tom Samson, said it was all about trying to get children excited about electricity.

We're going to be generating 7% of the UK's electricity from the plant at Moorside and we want to tap into that local talent pool and employ these kids in the future to come and work at the site."

Tom Samson, NuGen CEO

Ross Exton, who gave presentations during the day, said it wasn't difficult to inspire young people about electricity.

Electricity is something we use every day, in our phones, homes, gadgets. Our modern day society relies on electricity so as far as inspiration goes you don't have to go far."

Ross Exton, Science presenter
Credit: ITV Border

The three schools chosen so far are the ones closest to where the Moorside nuclear power station would be built.

More events are planned over the coming months as the search begins for the people who will fill west Cumbria's electricity related jobs in the decades ahead.