CHAPELCROSS nuclear complex’s site director Richard Murray paid a visit to 10 Downing Street for a reception for skills champions.
Originally a mechanical apprentice at the former Annan power station, Richard was eventually sponsored by the company to get a university degree, and climbed the ranks until he became the decommissioning programme director for all 12 UK Magnox sites.
He has only been in the site director role at Annan for two years, but has already recruited ten trainees and apprentices, partly in response to a number of skilled workers approaching retirement.
Richard said: “We are investing in our workforce for the future. Overall we’ve recruited nearly 40 new employees on the site over the last two years.
“Expanding the apprenticeship route, in my view, is adding real value to the country.
“The demand is not purely for traditional craft apprenticeships. They are also a way to learn the skills and knowledge needed for a wide range of jobs and professions.
“It is about practical skills, skills development and skills in the community. Locally, we have forged links again with Annan Academy in trying to promote science and technology achievement.
“This is a real positive.”
At the reception he met UK Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, who, like him, began her working life as an apprentice during her teens.
Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell invited Richard, who lives in Annan, to attend the event in London as a guest.
He said: “Richard is passionate about training and the important role apprenticeships have in contributing to the future economic prosperity of the UK.
“It was a view shared by many of those at the event from a cross-section of industries. They acknowledged the importance of task relevant training and passing on practical skills and knowledge.”