19 May 14

Two Torness nuclear power station apprentices follow in the footsteps of their fathers

History is repeating itself at Torness nuclear power station as two of the new apprentices starting this August are the sons of existing staff. Niall Harding, (16 from Dunbar) whose father Eddie is an operations engineer and Lewis Martin (16 from Dunbar) whose dad Archie Martin is work week manager, have both come through several rounds of tough interviews to be taken on by EDF Energy’s scheme.

Eddie and Archie started out as apprentices in 1984 on the same day. Now their sons, Niall and Lewis, who are in the same class at Dunbar Grammar school, will start their careers on the same day this August, 30 years later.

Archie said, “The whole family is thrilled that Lewis has won a place on such a sought after apprenticeship scheme and this really is a second to none opportunity for him. It’s great the two boys will start their careers together just like Eddie and I did all those years ago.”

Eddie commented, “Niall was inspired to apply for the apprenticeship scheme after his work experience at Torness. Our whole family are very proud of him and are sure that he will grasp this great opportunity that he has been given. He is very excited about the whole process of moving away and learning new skills".

Earlier this year the apprentice recruitment process started with Torness receiving hundreds of applications. The latest apprentices will tackle engineering training and also life skills at HMS Sultan in Portsmouth. Away from the classroom the apprentices will enjoy excellent sports and leisure facilities under the watchful eye of the centre’s own team.

Niall and Lewis are amongst another six new starts who attended an open evening with their parents to find out more about what the apprenticeship scheme will hold for them when they start in August. They had a site tour and maintenance manager, Gordon McKenzie told the group about how the station works and what they can expect when they start their new jobs. Gordon said: “For me, the evening was a great success and the feedback I received from the parents was all very encouraging. It is really important that we secure the trust of mums and dads who are just about to pack their children off to Portsmouth as for many of them it will be the first time they live away from home.”

Dominic Blythe, the station’s apprentice co-ordinator, said: “This is the seventh group that we are sending down to HMS Sultan. The feedback we have got so far is very, very positive. Once we get this group settled in the recruitment process for 2015 starts again in November. And with HMS Sultan as a key part of the programme we are expecting a lot of applications.”

Torness nuclear power station director, Paul Winkle said: “The apprenticeship scheme really does go from strength to strength with really impressive young people applying for the job. I wish all eight youngsters in the new group all the very best for their future careers at EDF Energy.”