A Cumbrian graduate training scheme will compete against some of the biggest names in industry in two national awards.

The nucleargraduates programme, based at Energus, Lillyhall, has been shortlisted for the Engineering Ambassador of the Year in the British Engineering Excellence Awards and Graduate Scheme of the Year in the Personnel Today Awards, going up against the likes of the civil service and Unipart Rail.

Nucleargraduates is a two-year development programme for new engineering, science and commercial graduates.

It was set up with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in 2008 to address the industry’s skills gap with enthusiastic engineers and scientists.

It is run by team of five people. Since it started, more than 400 youngsters have completed the scheme.

Graduates undertake a minimum of three secondments, learning from supply chain organisations, government departments and international hosts.

Graduates have placements in firms across the globe, with some of the current cohort in Japan, Australia, Canada and Spain.

Adrienne Easterbrook, Energus general manager, said: “We’ve never entered these awards before and it is amazing that we have been shortlisted alongside organisations like the civil service, which has huge numbers of people co-ordinating graduate schemes, while we have a team of five.”

Kath Walker, business systems lead, added: “We’re particularly excited by the ambassador of the year award. Our graduates go into schools and universities to talk about science, technology and engineering and run events for children to get them interested in the subjects and future careers.

“Between 2008 and 2018, we delivered 21,680 hours of STEM, which we’re really proud of. It covers everything from talks to organising Lego Leagues and taking part in Dream Placement. Our graduates are brilliant ambassadors for engineering.”

Graduates from earlier cohorts have also created training materials for schools, which are still used and published a book for key stage two pupils about energy.

The winners for both awards will be announced at ceremonies later this year.