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YGN Cammell Laird Site Visit

On the 23rd January 2015, members of the Young Generation Network were privileged to attend the Cammell Laird site in Birkenhead, Merseyside for an exclusive tour of their dock yard. Attendees were from a vast array of companies including those operating in the new build sector and those involved in decommissioning.

After sign-in and coffee the group were split in half before donning their appropriate PPE ready to head out onto the site. Group A was ably escorted by John Eldridge (Principal Engineer (Nuclear)) and group B was guided by Robert Wild (Mechanical Engineer on secondment from Sellafield Ltd). Each group was also accompanied throughout the tour by two first year apprentices who despite only being three months into their apprenticeships acted as guides and answered many questions posed to them regarding various elements of the Cammell Laird business.  As we were visiting a busy operational site, to ensure guest safety we were also escorted by members of the Cammell Laird security team.

During the tour we were very fortunate to be shown various aspects of the site including the dry docks, the apprentice workshop, and the fabrication / construction hall.

John and Robert added flavour to the tour by offering examples of different vessels that had been repaired and maintained within the docks including giving descriptions of the complex work carried out on various defence and commercial vessels within demanding timescales to exacting standards.  It is clear that the skills of the employees at Cammell Laird are extremely specialist and valued by the company. In particular, the apprentice workshop allowed for an insight into the successful projects Cammell Laird has pioneered with local young people.

The mammoth construction hall really emphasised the potential of the Cammell Laird site; this vast space is an ideal location being situated adjacent to the ship repair facilities allowing for complex and heavy structures to be loaded out to the quays or alternatively for direct river access via a slipway which allows for module transportation over to the dry docks. 

Cammell Laird’s capabilities specifically within the nuclear new build were explored more fully when the group made their way back to the seminar room for lunch and a presentation by John. John’s excitement about the potential of this site was clear for all to see and his enthusiasm and ambition were infectious, particularly in light of the importance he placed on young scientists and engineers progressing in the early stages of their careers.

Following the conclusion of the timetabled agenda for the day, many members of the YGN stayed back to discuss experiences with their peers and fully utilised their opportunity to ask questions of John.

On behalf of the YGN, we would like to offer sincere thanks to all those at Cammell Laird who made this day so valuable and informative,