15 Feb 11

EDF Energy talks to future engineers

Students who have set their sights on a career in the energy industry had a taste of the real world yesterday (Tuesday15 February).

Pupils from Lowestoft College visited Sizewell B Power Station in Leiston as part of EDF Energy's efforts to support the Energy Skills Foundation Programme.

Lowestoft College runs this 12-month structured training programme to prepare them for a job or an apprenticeship in the energy sector. They learn essential knowledge and gain an understanding of the technical training required, gaining two nationally recognised qualifications relevant to the oil, gas, nuclear and renewable power generation sector.

As part of the programme they visited Sizewell B Power Station to see what it is like working at a nuclear power station. They learnt about safety, observed operations, visited the turbine hall where 1,200-megawatts of electricity are generated and visited the site for the planned Sizewell C Power Station.

Mike Betts, course tutor at Lowestoft College, said: "The students have little real life experience in engineering. In the classroom we can show photos of nuclear power stations but nothing is better than actually standing in the turbine hall, so seeing is believing. It is the best way to see the size and the scale of how the station operates."

Ian Flanders, EDF Energy’s Technical Training Group Head at Sizewell B Power Station, said: "This is a great opportunity for the students to gain a real insight into how the nuclear industry operates and what future careers are available to them.

"EDF Energy runs a modern apprenticeship scheme at its power station and plans to create over 60 new places through this year’s intake and are looking for the engineers of the future."

EDF Energy runs a modern apprenticeship scheme at Sizewell B Power Station in Leiston where apprentices undertake a four year training programme where the first two years are spent at the Royal Navy bases at HMS Sultan and Collingwood near Portsmouth and the final two years are predominantly based at Sizewell B.

Lowestoft College student James Miasek, 18, who took part in today's visit, said: "It was really interesting to see how much was involved in operating a nuclear power plant."

EDF Energy’s Advanced Nuclear Apprentice Scheme has created over 180 apprenticeship roles, with opportunities offered by the nuclear industry today and the next generation of nuclear power stations. At the heart of EDF Energy’s investment in training is a £3.5 million Nuclear Power Academy, opened in May 2008, as part of a commitment to creating world leading nuclear professionals.

The company currently employs around 55 new apprentices in the nuclear business every year.