(Posted 07/05/2015) The first ICATS (the UK’s Industrial Coatings Applicators Training Scheme) course held in Cumbria has helped lead to a ‘dream job offer’ at Sellafield for a ‘Painting and Decorating’ student from Lakes College. Having passed the ICATS commercial painter course, and upon successful completion of his National Vocational Qualification Level 2 at Lakes College, Nicky Pattinson, 20, from Maryport, will join Jacobs (as part of the company’s Jacobs Stobbarts team) working at the Sellafield site.
Recognising that more and more industries are demanding the ICATS qualification, Eddie Blackmore, from local firm Livingstone Surface Treatments Ltd, secured the training certification that would enable him to train and he is currently the only qualified external ICATS Trainer registered in North West England. Conscious of the skills gap in West Cumbria, and keen for more youngsters to embrace the upskilling opportunities available, as a first step, Eddie Blackmore decided to offer a student a free place on his ICATS course. Consulting with Christine Steele, Lakes College Tutor on the Painting and Decorating course, Nicky Pattinson was offered the free training place on the first ICATS course held in Cumbria.
From the outset Nicky impressed Eddie Blackmore who said, “There was no question over Nicky’s determination to succeed – on his first day his lift let him down so he had to set off at 5am, taking three buses and walking the final couple of miles from Thornhill to Blackbeck. He was mature in his approach and fitted in well with the nine other delegates who work off shore on the Morecambe Bay rigs.
The course included modules covering all aspects of industrial coating, combined with practical sessions and discussions on the correct way to prepare and coat the steelwork. Commenting on the training, one of the attendees said, “It was enjoyable, informative and Eddie’s personality helped make the course come alive.”
Nicky Pattinson said, “I’d like to thank Eddie Blackmore for the opportunity to progress with my learning and develop new and existing skills. I have enjoyed my time on the course and now have a better understanding of the opportunities in the industrial coatings industry.”
Nicky’s attitude and aptitude stood out to Eddie Blackmore, “Nicky did extremely well, he performed well on the practical assessments as well as the theoretical side and I was delighted he achieved his ICATS certification.
“In fact he impressed me so much, I contacted Jacobs at the Sellafield site to see if they had any relevant current vacancies.”
Nicky has since been a full time permanent job with Jacobs on the Sellafield site (subject to security clearance), once he has completed his NVQ. Sellafield Ltd requires ICATS certification for all industrial coating applicators / painters.
Nicky said, “I can’t believe it, I have been offered a life changing opportunity to go and work on the nuclear site at Sellafield. I’m glad I managed to show my determination and a passion for the industry, but I never thought I would make it to the position I am now in! I would also like to thank Christine Steele and Mark Docherty from the Lakes College for their help and guidance which drove me to try harder and better myself.”
Mike Sharrock at Jacobs said, “Nicky has an excellent attitude towards work and learning and already has some valuable skills, so it is a real joy to be able to offer him a job once he completes his NVQ.”
Eddie Blackmore concludes, “This has been our first foray at linking education and employment. Moving forward I can see potential for creating further practical links between college and local employers; the more of this we can do, the better for future generations of employees in West Cumbria. With the potential new nuclear academy and colleges on our doorstep, we need to keep the momentum going. Hopefully Nicky’s story will inspire more students to be determined and focused on improving their skills.”