9 Mar 15

Sizewell B encourages tomorrows engineers to earn while they learn

As National Apprentice Week launches Sizewell B celebrates its talented apprentices and invites schools to come to the station to find out more about the scheme.

There are currently 36 apprentices at Sizewell B working across a range of disciplines. Brad Holman a fourth year apprentice at the station says the link between schools and the power station is vital.

Brad says: "Looking back studying maths and science at school was very important for my job as it triggered my interest in engineering. Doing well in maths is important, I remember working out the hypotenuse of a triangle using trigonometry and thinking "when am I ever going to need this?" I now realise you need such skills in engineering when working out lengths of pipe or cable."

With the visitor centre at Sizewell B reopening schools have the perfect opportunity to show their students science in action. Sizewell B has welcomed over 5,000 visitors to the station. Many of the visits are from schools giving students practical workshops to complement their curriculum studies.

Sarah Osborne, Sizewell B visitor centre coordinator says: "The feedback we get from schools is that they want to bring their students to us ahead of choosing their GCSE options. It helps students to pick options that are right for building the career they may want to pursue."

As well as hosting visits to Sizewell B the station guides also go out to schools. This week Sizewell B guides will be at the Orminston Academy in Great Yarmouth supporting Year 8 students with their work on the Big Energy Project.

Jim Crawford, Sizewell B Station Director, said: "Apprentices are an important part of EDF Energy’s business today and tomorrow, for our exiting power stations and those that are in the planning stages. It is vital that we continue to foster good links with our schools and colleges in the region so students can see the breadth of roles on offer in the nuclear industry. An apprenticeship provides the skills, confidence and qualifications to join our industry’s next generation of engineers."

To find out more and to enquire about booking a visit contact sizewellbtours@edf-energy.com or call 01728 653974.

EDF Energy Apprenticeship schemes

With the first phase of smart meters being rolled out to customers around Great Britain, nine new trainees have also joined the business for the first time to learn the skills required to install and maintain this important new technology. A further 10 new smart metering apprentices will be recruited this year, with applications opening in Spring 2015.

Engineering Maintenance programme

Each year around 60 new apprentices join the 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: 

Smart Metering apprenticeship scheme

EDF Energy launched its Smart Metering apprenticeship scheme in 2014, employing nine new apprentices. The 54-week structured programme combines practical, classroom and field activity to provide recruits with the skills and confidence to install smart meters in customers’ homes, as well as a City and Guilds qualification. Apprentices are primarily based in London and the South East of England but there may be future opportunities in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset too.

Apprentices on the smart scheme will play a vital role in revolutionising the future of energy, as this new technology will make a significant difference to the way people understand and use their gas and electricity.

Applicants are required to have at least five GCSE’s at Grade C or above, including maths and English, and hold a valid driving licence. More apprentices will be recruited in Spring 2015 and interested candidates should visit the smart apprenticeship webpage to apply: http://www.edfenergy.com/careers/early-careers/apprenticeships/smart-metering-apprenticeship

Business apprentice scheme

A successful business relies on talent in a variety of areas, including roles such as Supply Chain, Programme Control and Engineering Support.

EDF Energy’s two-year Business Apprenticeship is based at its Generation administration offices in Gloucester and East Kilbride and equips trainees to grow a rewarding career in key areas such as these.
A successful business relies on talent in a variety of areas, including roles such as Supply Chain, Programme Control and Engineering Support. EDF Energy’s two-year Business Apprenticeship is based at its Generation administration offices in Gloucester and East Kilbride and equips trainees to grow a rewarding career in key areas such as these.

Some apprentice facts
  • EDF Energy took on 50 apprentices in its eight nuclear stations in 2014 and expects to recruit at least that many again in 2015
  • Nine smart metering apprentices started the programme in December 2014
  • The smart metering scheme lasts 54 weeks
  • Over the last three years, the average proportion of females taken on annually has been 20%
  • There are around 200 apprentices currently employed in the four-year engineering maintenance scheme
  • Average salary of the final year apprentices ranges from £19,000 to £23,000 depending on the discipline
  • EDF Energy’s apprentice training scheme has won a prestigious industry award - Nuclear Engineering International - with one of the judges describing it as ‘a very impressive programme’

For more information contact:

EDF Energy Media
Media Relations Team
01452 652233

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/