26 Jan 17

Suffolk students rise to energy challenge

EDF Energy is supporting a group of 25 school girls from Suffolk who have taken up a challenge set by the Engineering Development Trust to reduce energy usage at school. 

Schools from Lowestoft, Ipswich, Leiston and Beccles are taking part in the project to inspire girls to study science and increase the connection between their studies and potential future careers.  

The launch event was held at the Sizewell B visitor centre where the girls got to meet engineering apprentices from the power station.  The Sizewell B apprentices will mentor the 13-14 year old girls throughout the 10 week project and provide advice and guidance as they develop their ideas on how they could cut down on energy use at their school.

Allison Copeman, Careers & Aspirations Manager at Sir John Leman High School in Beccles said: “The girls involved in this project also attended EDF Energy’s Pretty Curious STEM workshops and have shown a real enthusiasm for science related studies and it is great that we have another industry event our students can get involved with to harness this enthusiasm.”

Madison Levett, Year 9 student at Sir John Leman High School, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to have hands-on involvement in a project that not only benefits the school but also challenges my perceptions of careers based around science.”

Niki Rousseau, Community Relations, Sizewell B, said: “EDF Energy’s work with the Engineering Development Trust gives us another opportunity to promote the study of STEM which is so crucial to the nuclear industry.  I am delighted that Suffolk schools have taken up this opportunity and hope it helps to change the perception of STEM subjects.”

The launch event at Sizewell B follows a new report published by the Social Market Foundation which found that science and tech jobs will grow twice as fast as other occupations.

The study; ‘Jobs of the Future’, released on 18 January reveals that science, research, engineering and technology jobs will grow at double the rate of other occupations creating 142,000 extra jobs between now and 2023. This is the year girls, such as those involved in the energy saving project for schools in Suffolk, currently choosing their GCSEs are expected to start entering the workplace.

The study from the Social Market Foundation (SMF) was commissioned by EDF Energy, as part of its “Pretty Curious” programme to inspire more girls to consider science and technology careers.  

EDF Energy has good links with schools in the region and hosted a series of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) workshops for 400 12-13-year-old girls at Trinity Park in Ipswich in November as part of a drive to encourage more girls to pursue careers in STEM.

The pace of digital innovation and scale of UK infrastructure investment means that there are huge opportunities for careers in STEM subjects. However, just one in five people working in STEM today in the UK is a woman and the number of young women studying these subjects at further education remains consistently below boys. 

For more information contact:

Marjorie Barnes
External Communications Manager
01728 653378
07515 295488

Notes to editors

Notes to editors
1. The ‘Jobs of the Future’ report uses new analysis of Government data and examines trends in the growth of science, research, engineering and technology jobs.  It shows their respective growth and in which region and industry this growth will take place.
2. Based on data from ‘The State of Engineering’ Report by Engineering UK (2015)
3. This year’s female intake was 22% against a national average for engineering apprentices of just 3.4% (Skills Funding Agency, Apprenticeship Achievements by framework code, level and gender 2002/3-2014/15).
4. To view the full report, visit edfenergy.com/prettycurious/jobsofthefuture
5. In the East of England the net requirement from 2016 – 2023 of total job openings is 948,248 and core science job openings 62,823 – see page 17 of the full report
Additional research findings:
Over the last 16 years, science, research, engineering and technology jobs outpaced average growth in employment, growing by 200% more than other occupations (49% vs 16%)
Unlike science, research, engineering and technology jobs, the number of jobs in other occupations actually fell between 2008 and 2010.
Careers in science, research, engineering and technology are related to the top five highest paid subject areas for graduates.
Computing skills will be the most in demand, with 22,000 job openings and the highest number of new jobs
Currently, only 36% of degree-level qualifications obtained by women are in science subjects, compared to 46% for men. And whilst there has been some progress, female students are still less likely than male students to take Maths, Chemistry and Physics at A-level.

EDF Energy in the East of England

In the East of England EDF Energy operates Sizewell B power station which employs 575 staff and 250 contracting partners. EDF Energy has completed Stage One consultation for Sizewell C which would be capable of supplying power to some 5 million homes and would employ 900 staff when operational.
As well as generating enough power to serve some 2.5million homes the company also provides gas and electricity to 270,000 customers in this region with over half of those opting for one of the company’s Blue+ products which are backed by low-carbon generation. We make sure we buy enough electricity generated from a low-carbon nuclear source to match every unit of electricity we estimate our Blue customers use. EDF Energy is proud to power up some of the largest companies in the UK, including sites for Tesco Stores Limited, Ministry of Defence, Morrisons and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust right here in the East of England. Following a landmark agreement with Network Rail the company also provides nuclear-backed Blue energy to power up the UKs electric rail network, covering most of the south east of England and the main lines from London to Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as the Merseyrail network around Liverpool and the Glasgow suburban network.