It’s National Apprenticeship Week! This year, the 5th to 11th of February is a chance to celebrate the achievements of apprentices around the country and highlight the positive impact they make to communities, businesses and the economy.

At First Light, we are lucky enough to have three fantastic apprentices working with us – with plans to expand the number of positions in future years. First Light took on its first apprentices and graduate apprentices in 2023, seeing a great opportunity to invest in our people; providing learning and development support that match the needs of the inertial confinement fusion sector. Through the schemes, our apprentices are able to hone their skills in engineering, business and mechanics, whilst also gaining valuable off-the-job training

We sat down with two of First Light’s apprentices – Adam Candan and Elliot Dyer – to find out what attracted them to an apprenticeship with First Light and what the most exciting thing is about working in the world of fusion…

  1. What first attracted you to apply for the First Light apprenticeship scheme?

Elliot: What attracted me to First Light was the chance to work alongside top scientists in the fusion field, whilst also having the freedom to solve problems in your own way. There is a real sense at First Light that we are all equals - staff at all levels are encouraged to set their own individual goals and shape their own careers. The First Light apprenticeship scheme also allows me to do a job I really enjoy while studying for a degree. I have constant support provided to me from the team which means I never feel alone in doing so.

Adam: I was first attracted to apply for the FLF apprenticeship scheme when I saw it was a local company working on something which could transform the world of energy for the better. After speaking to the First Light team at my interview, I found that this was an environment full of passionate people who really care about the impact of what they’re doing. As a precision manufacturing apprentice, I am constantly being introduced to new realms of engineering such as CAD/CAM, inspection and key workshop skills. This is allowing me to expand my skillset and grow as an engineer.

  1. What is the most exciting thing about working in fusion and being part of the First Light team?

Adam: The best thing about being part of the First Light team is the passion shared by everyone in the building, no matter what department they are in. This creates a really positive workplace where everyone is always going above and beyond for the rest of the team. The learning and development opportunities I have had at First Light are also second to none.

Elliot: Working in the fusion industry means you get to face new and exciting challenges every day. Each company attempting to achieve fusion gain has their own method, which means that there is no set way to achieving that end goal. Being a part of the industry for a year and seeing how rapidly the market develops has made me extremely excited about the future for energy production. It is exciting to see First Light continue to expand in an ever-changing market and to keep pushing the boundary of what is possible.

  1. What would you say to someone thinking about applying for an apprenticeship and why should they do so in fusion?

Adam: Go for it! I have found First Light to be an amazing environment in which to learn and grow. Even whilst I am on away-days at the training centre, the First Light team are always making sure that I am getting everything I need to succeed. You won't find another company with people as friendly as at First Light!

Elliot: Take the leap and apply. First Light is an incredibly friendly and supportive work environment - no one is in it for themselves and everyone wants to help each other to be the best they can be. First Light are willing to invest into their staff, providing training courses and staff benefits that I haven’t seen anywhere else in my career. Not only that, you are also joining a rapidly developing market in fusion energy that could be the next big thing for energy provision in years to come. To get to play a part in that is extremely exciting.