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Lords praise for top student

Saarah Hashmi pictured with Andy Carter MP (left) and Lord Kenneth Baker (right)

Sellafield Ltd

2 min read Partner content

First year Sellafield mechanical design apprentice Saarah Hashmi has picked up a top award in parliament from Lord Kenneth Baker.

Saarah, who joined Sellafield’s apprentice programme in September, received a gold Baker award thanks to her achievements at Warrington’s University Technical College (UTC) where she gained a triple distinction star in BTEC engineering.

Saarah lives in Rochdale, and made the commute to the UTC each day because she knew it had good employer partnerships in the area, including with Sellafield Ltd.

She’s now on a five-year course, at the end of which she’ll qualify as a design engineer. Much of Sellafield’s design engineer capability is at its offices in Warrington.

Saarah said: “From year 11 at school I thought engineering might be a good route for me. I loved design and creating models from scratch. When I started to apply to colleges I knew that A levels weren’t for me. But I also wasn’t sure which form of engineering would be right.

“The UTC gave me the right environment to learn and I was able to take work experience at six different companies over the two years, including Sellafield Ltd.

“Now I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. I always knew I would do something in engineering, it’s amazing to be learning alongside it. I’ve earned my place at Sellafield but I don’t think I would be here if I hadn’t chosen the UTC.”

Lord Baker is co-founder, along with Lord Dearing of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, set up in 2009 to promote the establishment of the UTCs. There are currently 48 UTCs in the UK.

Warrington South MP Andy Carter, who attended the presentation event, said: “Saarah’s achievement is testament to the educational achievements at the UTC in Warrington.

“The links between the UTC and local business are strong, and this results in opportunities such as Saarah’s who now has an exciting career ahead with Sellafield Ltd – one of the biggest employers of high skilled workers in the area.”

“I’m really pleased Sellafield play an active part encouraging apprenticeships and was delighted to welcome them to my recent apprenticeships fair at the Parr Hall. I’m incredibly grateful for all the work they’re doing for young people in Warrington.”

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