10 Mar 15

Dungeness B kicks off National Apprentice Week with school visit

With six young apprentices starting their career at Dungeness B each year, the Kent power station is showing its support for National Apprenticeship Week this week.

Students from Bushey Mead School, Hertfordshire, came to tour the site [on Monday 9 March] to find out more about how nuclear energy is made.

As part of the visit apprentices from EDF Energy’s sought-after scheme came to speak with them about apprenticeships in general and the opportunities available at EDF Energy.

Mr Joseph Bilson, teacher at Bushey Meads school said: It’s been a really informative day, both for the students and myself. It’s so important that young people understand the variety of careers open to them, and that university isn’t the only option when they leave school.”

Josh McNichol, age 14, from Bushey Meads, said “I never really thought about doing an apprenticeship before but after speaking with the apprentices at Dungeness B it’s definitely something I would consider. To me, the best thing about it is that you’d have a stable career in front of you and earn money at the same time.”

Each year new apprentices join the four-year engineering maintenance scheme, which allows them to gain nationally recognised qualifications whilst they work.

Kat Martin, 21, is a third year apprentice based at Dungeness B.

She said: I wanted to get into engineering but I didn’t have any engineering knowledge or background so I applied for the apprenticeship scheme. I’d really recommend an engineering apprenticeship. I’ve been able to learn the basics at the same time as getting paid and also get engineering qualifications on the job. I learn every day, have a hands-on job, and get a lot of satisfaction knowing I have improved the functionality of something, so I definitely made the right choice.

Applications for the EDF Energy Engineering Maintenance Apprentice Scheme open in November. More information can be found at www.edfenergy.com/careers  or follow @edfecareers on Twitter.   Engineering Maintenance programme

Each year around 60 new apprentices join EDF Energy’s four-year programme, which is based at Babcock’s Engineering Academy HMS Sultan, near Portsmouth.

The recruits spend their first two years at HMS Sultan and the final two years at their base power station.

Being away from home provides the opportunity for the young people to acquire vital life skills, confidence and independence as well as developing technical capabilities. Apprentices report that it's an opportunity to ‘earn while you learn' providing a real alternative to university, leading to a wide range of career opportunities.

In fact, many of the leaders of EDF Energy’s Generation business started their careers as apprentices including the current Managing Director Stuart Crooks:

“The apprentice route offers amazing opportunities for youngsters with the right attributes," explains Stuart.

"By learning the intricacies of these complex but fascinating power stations from the basics up, we are creating home grown expertise to safeguard the future of our business. These are the people who will be operating our new nuclear stations in the future as well as keeping the existing stations on line today. It's popular too. Once they join us as apprentices, people tend to stay with us for a long time and invest their knowledge gained back into the business.”

Some apprentices choose to continue their education beyond the four-year scheme.

Once in a role at a power station they might pursue degrees or professional qualifications as they progress their careers.

Applications are now closed for 2015 although keep an eye on the website for next year's scheme: http://www.edfenergy.com/careers/early-careers/apprenticeships/engineering-maintenance-apprenticeship

For more information contact:

Juliette Sanders
Media Officer (South East)
07875 112 599

EDF Energy

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to 6 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.

EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework.

These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.

Through Our Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company.

In 2014 EDF Energy received seven ‘Big Ticks’ in the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards. In 2013 EDF Energy received the Environmental Leadership for Behavioural Change Award in the national Environment and Energy Awards and was highly commended in the first ever pan European Corporate Social Responsibility Awards scheme for its Sustainable Schools programme – the Pod.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK.

To find out more about the UK's energy challenges look at www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/