Gemma Howell from Minehead took part in one of our STEM assemblies when she was at school and it changed her thinking on career options completely.
“My first involvement with EDF Energy was seven years ago, in a Year 9 assembly, when a team of STEM ambassadors had come to my school to deliver a presentation.
“It seemed to me like another world. A man’s world; something I had no interest in. And then a young woman walked out from behind the screen and led the entire presentation. She broke any preconceptions I had about the industry and suddenly made it accessible.
“I’d always loved science, but living in an area where tourism is the primary industry I’d never really understood where it could take me. It was the first time such an idea had been presented to me in such an accessible manner and that was it; I wanted a career in science.
“With GCSE options looming, the timing of the event was critical. I suddenly felt empowered to make decisions for what I wanted to do with my career.
“I was in my final year of A levels when I began to fill out my university application – the automatic step. But I suddenly realised that it wasn’t for me. I withdrew my application for university and began looking into higher apprenticeship schemes. The idea of earning money instead of taking a student loan seemed an obvious choice and so I applied for the supply chain apprenticeship scheme with EDF Energy.
“A few months later I was fortunate enough to gain a place on the scheme and becoming part of Hinkley Point C was a fantastic opportunity, one that I am ever so grateful for.
“This is beginning to create a real foundation for me to launch a career. To me Hinkley Point C is about so much more than ‘turning the lights on’. It’s about bringing hope and opportunity to an area that is often deprived of such things. It’s about making a difference in the local communities, whether it’s encouraging young people to pursue a career in science or creating opportunities for local businesses. I feel privileged to be part of this project, to contribute to such a significant part of the UK infrastructure but, more importantly, to help give back to an area that has given me so much and inspire the next generation of young people to achieve.”
“The HPC project is local to me which makes it a very attractive prospect!
“The opportunity to play a part in the construction of a new nuclear power station is one that doesn’t come around very often. The size and scale of the project creates a wealth of opportunities, providing a variety of different avenues and career prospects. For someone who hasn’t always been clear on what career to pursue, this is the perfect opportunity for me.
“My role involves a lot of teamwork, communication and initiative. My apprenticeship is quite unique as I get to rotate between different departments within the KBJV team for several weeks at a time. This is helping me understand how the project runs as a whole. My college course starts soon which is one day a week at the local Bridgwater & Taunton College.”
In 2013, Laing O’Rourke, together with Bridgwater & Taunton College, developed the first UK apprenticeship for steel fixers.
Working as a local plasterer, Garth Young saw the course advertised in the local paper and decided to apply. At 29 years old, he qualified as an adult apprentice.
The 18-month course led to a Level 2 diploma and a career in one of the most in-demand skills in civil engineering.
Through further on-the-job training and upskilling, Garth has now progressed from an apprentice to a steel fixing supervisor on the HPC Project with Tier 1 contractor, BYLOR.
Andy Berry, Principal of Bridgwater and Taunton College said, “Our course is the first in the UK to embrace the new skills and techniques, such as digital engineering and off-site manufacturing.”
“My role on the HPC project is a trainee environmental advisor with BYLOR. I am currently studying B.Sc. Hons Geography at the University of Brighton and have joined BYLOR on a 12-month industrial internship.
“My responsibilities on-site include implementing the environmental requirements from the environmental management system, monitoring and reporting our environmental performance, carrying out environmental risk assessments, providing advice to the site teams through training, competence and communication.
“It is my intention to spend as much time as possible on-site, undertaking regular inspections as well as holding briefings and talking with the workforce to ensure communication on-site is kept relevant.
“It is my responsibility to ensure that the workforce have a voice, and offer advice for the environmental obligations that they must comply with.
“I have grown up in Taunton and the opportunity to work on such a prestigious project close to home was one I could not miss. I’m very passionate about the movement towards a sustainable environment. Being part of the HPC team allows me to explore many of the innovative projects that are on-site, such as focusing on waste management schemes, reducing carbon emissions, sourcing responsibly, building efficient structures and protecting biodiversity.
“I am so passionate about the HPC project and inspiring young people like myself to become part of it, that I attend recruitment events and present to local young people on my experience at HPC.”
Callum is completing a BYLOR Degree Apprenticeship in Construction Management.
Combining full-time paid work and part-time university, the BYLOR Degree Apprenticeship offers candidates the opportunity to gain a full Bachelors or Masters degree whilst participating in practical, on-the-job training.
Callum started his civil engineering degree apprenticeship in October 2017. It is being delivered by Laing O’Rourke, together with partners on Hinkley Point C, and in collaboration with the University of Exeter.
“So far the degree apprenticeship has provided me with a fantastic balance of practical and academic civil engineering. To work on a project as ground-breaking as HPC is something I am really enjoying. I am learning from the very best in the industry on a project, which I will be able to look back on with pride as I progress through my career.”
Working within the Nuclear Island team, Callum said, “The persistent desire for the highest standards within quality and safety are working habits I hope to take forward into the rest of the HPC project and beyond.
“There is no better civil engineering project in the United Kingdom to develop a career in civil engineering. The exposure to the highest levels of complexity will stand me in excellent stead moving forward in my career.”
Sophie is a trainee civil engineer within the BAM Nuttall Academy. She is working towards an HND qualification after completing her Level 3 advanced apprenticeship.
“I came to Hinkley Point C with no previous site experience and over time I have grown in confidence in my ability to work in such a complex, fast-paced and exciting environment.
”Undeniably, the best way to learn is to garner the knowledge and experience of others and the HPC team is so vast there is ample opportunity to broaden my understanding. No two days are the same and every day I get an opportunity to learn something new. The reason I chose this career is that civil engineering is a necessity in driving the future.”
The best way to contact us is by completing our online enquiry form.
Call us on 0333 009 7070 (24 hour free phone number).
Stop by our visitor centre in the Angel Place Shopping Centre, Bridgwater, TA6 3TQ. We are open from 9am-4pm Monday to Friday and 9am-1pm on Saturday.
Write to us at: Hinkley Point Visitor Centre, Angel Place Shopping Centre, Bridgwater, TA6 3TQ
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