26 Sep 14

Hartlepool students get EDF Energy support

THREE students from Hartlepool power station’s innovative engineering mentoring scheme will enjoy three years more help from EDF Energy.

Charlotte McKenna, Charlotte Welsh and Ella Bloomfield from Hartlepool Sixth Form College are all starting university courses.

Charlotte Welsh, is off to Teesside University to study chemistry, Charlotte McKenna the University of Aberystwyth, taking environmental earth science and Ella University of Warwick reading joint maths and physics.

And they will be helped with an annual grant from EDF Energy along with the offer of potential summer placements and on-going support from their station mentors.

Simon Parsons, station director at Hartlepool power station, said: “This is great news for them, but also for the mentoring scheme which is proving very successful.

“It was the brainchild of Brian Matthews our strategic outage manager who started the scheme a couple of years ago and so far the site’s mentors have worked with around 30 sixth formers.

“I am hoping that those we are now supporting at university will return to Hartlepool as graduates, and maybe become mentors themselves.”

The station linked up with Hartlepool Sixth Form College and English Martyrs Sixth Form College to offer the two-year mentoring scheme where students find out more about a potential career with EDF Energy.

The students work with a variety of different engineers and are also given advice on important soft skills, such as CV writing and interview techniques.

Charlotte McKenna, said: “I had a mentor, Leonie Perry, who invited me to spend a day with her and who encouraged me though my studies at college.

“The financial help of the sponsorship is a blessing, it takes a lot of stress away for me and my parents.

“I'm very grateful for all that Hartlepool Power Station has done for me over the last two years, and I can't wait to continue to work with them through my university studies.”

Charlotte Welsh, said: “The scheme has helped me to learn about what it is like to work in industry, which not many people can say before going to university.

“Sponsorship means I now have a chance to continue all of the things I learnt on the scheme. It also gives me the hope of getting a job through the graduate scheme and in the meantime a summer job, which will be an amazing experience.”

Ella Bloomfield, said: "I'm really pleased to be included in this sponsorship scheme, it means I can explore the different careers available to me in the nuclear industry.

“I'm also excited to have been given the opportunity to gain some valuable work experience in an industry I'm really interested in."

Alison Willetts, director of faculty (STEM) at Hartlepool Sixth Form College, said: “We are delighted with the success of all of our Academy students and with Charlotte, Ella and Charlotte in particular.

“The first cohort of our students have completed their two-year programme of academic studies at Hartlepool Sixth Form College and the mentoring programme with EDF Energy and have achieved high levels of success in both.

“All of the students have benefitted enormously from their first encounter with industry.

“Through their work with their mentors and the training course they have attended, they have developed the skills that will make them much more employable in the future: teamwork, effective communication, proactivity and reliability.”