12 Dec 13

Doors open for new recruits at Dungeness B

Over 70 young people and their parents came to the power station to learn more about a career with EDF Energy at Dungeness B.

Rob Ackroyd, maintenance group head at Dungeness B, was on hand to offer advice along with Jim French, apprentice coordinator at the power station, who arranged the open day.

The young people, ranging in age from 14 to 22, were shown both the Control Room and Flow Loop Simulators, where John Clifton and Rodger Smith, two of the training instructors at the power station, explained how they work to keep the power station running safely, providing low carbon power to homes and businesses across Kent.

In the visitor centre, which opened in February, Denika Walsh, a technician at Dungeness B, who has completed her four-year apprenticeship, accompanied by six apprentices in their third year chatted to the visitors about their experiences.

The potential recruits were able to ask questions about the scheme, from the first two years study at HMS Sultan in Portsmouth and what it’s like being away from home, to the training and qualifications they can expect to receive over the four years.

Harry Hollis, 16, who is studying at Harvey Grammar in Folkestone, said: “I am looking at apprenticeships as I want to start working straight away when I leave school. I heard about the EDF Energy scheme through school and the open day has been really helpful. I’m also going to book a plant tour for the new year.”

Sam Jarrett, a third-year apprentice at Dungeness B, commented: “It’s a really good training scheme. It’s a great idea to have an open day so people can see the power station, learn what we do here and get an idea of what working for EDF Energy at Dungeness B can offer.”

Jay Banning, 15, and Cameron Lee, 14, who both study at the Marsh Academy came along to find out more. Jay said: “I have enjoyed looking at how things work and fixing things from a young age. I think this scheme sounds really interesting and is well suited to me.”

Jay’s mum, Donna, who works at Dungeness A which is now in the process of being decommissioned by Magnox, added “I know EDF Energy are a good company to work for and there will be good career prospects coming off the scheme. Going to university and getting a degree doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a job.”

Thomas Watson, 22, from St Albans in Hertfordshire, has been working in the retail industry since leaving school and now is looking for a change in career path. He said: “I came to see what opportunities were available and I am very impressed. I think what Dungeness B is offering is very attractive and I will definitely apply.”

Edward and Georgina Lewis, 19 and 17, travelled all the way from Kilcot, Gloucester, to attend the information day with their parents.

Edward, who is currently studying for a HND in Mechanical Engineering, said: “I really want to get out into the engineering world of work as soon as possible. It sounds much better than getting myself into debt.”

Georgina, who is currently studying for A-Levels, said: “It looks like a really interesting way to learn. I find it a lot easier to learn practically as I’m very hands on.”

So was it worth the four hour journey? “Definitely,” said their mum, Lesley. “Today has been a fantastic opportunity to look around and learn more. Apprenticeships are the way to go, if you can get on them.”

Jim French, Dungeness B apprentice coordinator, said: “We have had good interest from the surrounding area right up to the south of London, and what is coming across today from all our visitors, potential applicants and their parents, is very positive. Getting current apprentices to meet and talk to potential recruits is very worthwhile. It’s been a big team effort to make the day work and we shall be following up our approach with schools and colleges.”

Applications for the scheme close on 20 January 2014 and can be made online here: http://careers.edfenergy.com/apprentices