Sizewell B schools students in the world of work
Two school girls from Leiston have joined Sizewell B power station to get a taster of the real world of work.
Maddie Buzzard and Lauren Bell, both 15, attend Alde Valley High School and opted to spend their work experience placements with EDF Energy.
When she hasn’t got her head in the books, Maddie earns her pocket money at the ice cream parlour in Aldeburgh.
Trading ice cream cones for spanners, Maddie joined the Sizewell B maintenance department for a one week work experience placement. The maintenance team play a crucial role at the power station ensuring Sizewell B runs at peak performance.
Maddie said: “I am a practical person so spending time with the maintenance team at Sizewell B has been great. I particularly enjoyed watching a large water pump being crane lifted from the turbine hall and a new one going in its place.”
Lauren chose to spend her work experience placement with the Sizewell B visitor centre, meeting and greeting visitors to the power station. Lauren was able to shadow a Sizewell B Guide and accompany public tours of the power station.
Tim Buck, Sizewell B Group Head of Maintenance said: “Students like Maddie and Lauren are the reason I do this job – it is great to see their enthusiasm and capturing that at such an influential age is vital to ensure we have the right skills in place for generations to come.”
Both Lauren and Maddie are studying for their GCSE exams next year. Maddie hopes to go on to take up an apprenticeship or head to university and Lauren intends to pursue a science related career. Sizewell B takes about a dozen students each year for work experience placements, giving youngsters an opportunity to try out a career with EDF Energy.
Notes to editors
Engineering Maintenance apprenticeships
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: http://www.edfenergy.com/careers/early-careers/apprenticeships/engineering-maintenance-apprenticeship
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’
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/