24 Nov 14

Torness technician scoops EDF Energy’s Apprentice of the Year award

A Torness nuclear power station technician has been named EDF Energy’s Apprentice of the Year 2014 at the company’s apprentice graduation ceremony. The event was held at Coventry’s Motorcycle Museum – just as the search for the 2015 intake of apprentices gets underway.

27 year old Stewart Thompson from Berwick- Upon -Tweed finished his four year apprenticeship earlier this year and has now been appointed as a control and instrumentation technician at the East Lothian nuclear power station.

Torness apprentice co-ordinator Dominic Blyth said, “Stewart won because of his natural ability to absorb technical information and a desire to learn. Stewart also supported many of the apprentices in his year group and others in the years below him. I am thrilled his hard work and commitment has paid off.”

Former Berwick High School pupil Stewart said, “I was delighted to win the award. There were around 70 apprentices in the 2010 intake who I spent two years with at HMS Sultan and are now, four years later, all highly skilled nuclear professionals so to be named apprentice of the year from the group was a very proud moment.

“I have gained a massive amount from this apprenticeship, aside from the obvious technical training for my role up to HNC level; there was also the opportunity to develop personal skills through the life skills programme which helped build my confidence and ability to work with others.

“My advice for anyone thinking about applying for this the role this year is to go for it. It is a fantastic opportunity to come and work for EDF Energy and receive high quality training while being paid at the same time. I was slightly apprehensive of being away from home at first but quickly made friends from all of our other stations who I still keep in contact with today.”

All of the 74 final-year engineering apprentices, along with five business apprentices from the company’s Barnwood office, received certificates at the ceremony from Stuart Crooks, EDF Energy’s Managing Director of Generation.

Stuart told the audience, which consisted of parents, friends and colleagues, that he had joined the company as a graduate apprentice in 1985.

He said that the number of female apprentices was increasing. In 2014 20% of the intake was female, but EDF Energy wants to increase that figure.

David Akers, EDF Energy’s Human Resources Director, said: "Getting young people, especially young women, interested in science and engineering careers is very important to us as it provides our future workforce.

“The graduation ceremony is the end of four years’ hard work and all those who have completed the scheme have been offered jobs with EDF Energy.”

The apprentice scheme starts with two years at the world-renowned training base at HMS Sultan near Portsmouth. The apprentices spend the final two years at their home bases where they get valuable on the job training.

David said: “Our apprentice programme produces a team of highly motivated people for our business, they learn the skills to take us forward and play a hugely important part in helping us continue to deliver safe, reliable electricity.

“As we remind our apprentices, the majority of today’s executive team started their working lives as apprentices so the sky really is the limit.”

Torness nuclear power station is holding two apprentice open days for those interested in finding out more about the role. These will take place on Saturday 6 December 2014 and Saturday 10 January 2015 at 10 am for a couple of hours.

You will need to register for a specific date and time by calling Margaret Wenham on 01368 873 847 or e-mailing Margaret.wenham@edf-energy.com

Further information and application forms can be found at www.edfenergy.com/careers.