8 Jul 14

Sizewell B female engineers celebrated

A group of female apprentices and graduates working at Sizewell B power station have featured in an award winning project.

Student Laura James-Stroud from Alde Valley School approached the power station as part of her research for a Time Team Your Town project run by University of East Anglia and Centre of East Anglian Studies.

Laura and three student friends working on the project chose to look at women in work in Leiston. The town has a long history of engineering providing the students with a number of amazing female role models.

The students started by looking at Richard Garrett & Sons in the town, where hundreds of steam engines were made. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Millicent Fawcett, Richard Garrett’s granddaughters, both made significant strides for women. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was the first female doctor and first female mayor (of Aldeburgh) in England and Millicent Fawcett was a leader of the women's suffrage movement. The students then turned to Sizewell B to bring their project up-to-date and celebrate the work of female engineers at the power station.

Niki Rousseau, Community Liaison Officer at Sizewell B helped Laura with her research for the project. Katie Bannister, a graduate now training to be a reactor operator; Teresa Featherstone, a former apprentice now a condition monitoring technician and Rochelle Grimmer, an apprentice who is now a chemistry technician all work at Sizewell B power station and featured in the Time Team Your Town project.

Alde Valley School was presented with the prize for best overall project amongst participating schools in Suffolk and Norfolk. Sizewell B's Teresa Featherstone will appear in a display summarising the students work which is due to appear in the Long Shop Museum in the town over the summer. The work will also be displayed at the Sizewell B visitor centre.

Speaking about the project Rochelle Grimmer said: "Congratulations to the team from Alde Valley School. This project has helped to recognise and support Women in Industry and show that there are equal opportunities available if we are not afraid to put ourselves forward"

Jill Douglass, Alde Valley School Lead for the project said: “The STEM Ambassadors of Sizewell B have worked closely with Alde Valley School over the years to promote engineering as a career. This was a great opportunity for the school to recognise their work in encouraging more women into the engineering work force.”

Laura James- Stroud said: “The project has meant that the women of Leiston are now able to be recognised as a strong independent part of Leiston’s history, and that we are just as capable as men.”

EDF Energy’s apprentice scheme

Sizewell B currently has 49 apprentices at different stages of the Advanced Nuclear Apprentice Scheme. Our Engineering Maintenance Apprenticeship Scheme is a four-year programme which focuses on the skills required to maintain nuclear power stations as well as the attitudes and behaviours essential to the safe operation of our plants. Completing the course gives the apprentices an Advanced Modern Apprenticeship Certificate in Engineering, a BTEC and NVQ Level 3, with the option to progress onto HNC.
The programme runs for four years, the first two of which are based at the Royal Naval base at HMS Sultan near Portsmouth, Hampshire. During this time you’ll undergo training in academic and workshop environments to ensure you gain an excellent introduction to engineering and develop a strong skills foundation. Part of this programme also covers the development of life skills, like confidence and communication

The Sizewell B visitor centre
The Visitor Centre is open Monday-Friday from 9-4pm and from May – September on Saturday’s. The majority of the tours are organised for schools and educational groups. However, members of the public are also able to attend by appointment.
Visitors will be given an introductory talk about how the station operates, before being given a guided tour through selected parts of the plant. To find out more contact sizewellbtours@edf-energy.com or 01728 653974.
For more information please contact Marjorie Barnes in the EDF Energy press office on 01728 653378