Apprenticeships at Drax
Apprenticeships

Our Apprenticeship Scheme offers people the chance to learn a trade, develop new skills and kick-start your career in engineering.

This is an opportunity to gain experience at our power station in Selby which is the largest decarbonisation project in Europe, while acquiring skills that are transferable across the industry.

Apprentices will be trained to work within the Maintenance department at Drax Power Station. They will work on new and recently upgraded plant designed to process renewable fuels and will mainly focus on the maintenance of the power station.

Drax Group plc employs 1,400 people across the UK (Selby, Ipswich and Liverpool) and South-eastern USA. Having successfully upgraded the UK’s biggest power station through innovative engineering, we are now a predominantly biomass-fuelled generator. We are leading the way in the sourcing, generation and supply of reliable, renewable electricity.

Starting your career as a Drax apprentice

Our apprenticeship scheme has many success stories, with former Drax apprentices now promoted to become Technicians and Supervisors. Working at Drax Power Station today, we have Engineers, Sections Heads and Department Managers that have all come from an apprenticeship background.

Overview

The Drax Apprentice Scheme runs over four years and is hosted by the Apprentice Employment Agency (AEA) for the first two years.

The programme focuses on three engineering disciplines:

  •   Mechanical Engineering
  •   Electrical Engineering
  •   Electrical Control and Instrumentation Engineering

Successful candidates will train in one of the selected disciplines above, as agreed on appointment.

Qualifications and skills development

At the end of the four-year programme our apprentices could achieve the following UK-nationally recognised qualifications:

  • BTEC – National Diploma in Engineering
  • NVQ 3 – Diploma in Electrical Power Engineering – Power Plant Maintenance

In addition, our apprentices can expect to develop a number of key skills such as planning and organisation, communication, team working and problem solving.

Apprenticeship scheme – four year overview

  • Year 1– 90% of the year is spent at the Uniper Engineering Academy at Ratcliffe Power Station near Nottingham, learning basic skills and studying towards a BTEC
  • Year 2– 50% of the year is spent completing the BTEC and training in craft skills at Uniper Engineering Academy. The remainder of time is spent at Drax, beginning the NVQ qualification and gaining valuable experience across the maintenance department
  • Year 3– 100% of the year is spent at Drax, focusing on the NVQ qualification and gaining practical experience
  • Year 4– 100% of the year is spent at Drax, during which time the apprentices will continue to develop their experience across the site and complete their NVQ

Apprentice Employment Agency (AEA)

AEA directly employs all apprentices (on behalf of Drax) during the first two years of the scheme. AEA liaises with both the Uniper Engineering Academy and Drax to ensure a timely and positive learning experience for the duration of the programme.

Accommodation

During the first two years of training, accommodation will be provided and arranged by the Uniper Engineering Academy.

Transport

A minibus will pick up all apprentices at 7.00am every Monday morning (unless the apprentices are scheduled to be at Drax) arriving at the Uniper Engineering Academy at around 9.00am. The bus will collect all apprentices every Friday at 2.00pm from the Uniper Engineering Academy, arriving back at Drax by 4.00pm.

Selection process

Qualification requirements

We look for apprentices who share our values and want to join in the success of a company with a great future.

To be considered for a place on the scheme you must have (or be predicted to have) GCSEs at grade C or above in Maths, English and Science and have two additional GCSEs at grade C or above (or equivalent) in any other subject. You must also have good communication skills along with an ability to work as part of a team.

If successful, you’ll be asked to provide evidence proving all the academic/vocational qualifications stated in your application form/CV, whether required for the role or not. Do not claim a qualification on your CV if you cannot do this. If you apply, based on predicted grades, you must achieve the required standard to confirm your appointment.

Application form

Applications for our 2017 Apprenticeship Scheme are now closed. If we will recruit for a 2018 Apprenticeship scheme, we will begin to accept applications in December 2017. All candidates must apply via our recruitment system.

Prior to completing an application form, you’ll be asked a number of questions. If you satisfy these, you’ll be progressed to the form itself.

You are required to complete all sections of the application form (unless stated ‘optional’) which are detailed below:

  • Personal Details
  • Education (including predicted grades)
  • Training Course
  • Work Experience / Employment History
  • Additional Information
  • Criminal Convictions
  • References
  • Nationality & Immigration Status
  • Declaration
  • Equal Opportunities (Optional)
  • Upload CV (Optional)
  • Upload Covering Letter (Optional)

For applicants who have not yet completed their GCSEs please provide predicted grades under the ‘Education’ section.

You have the option to upload your CV if you feel this would provide additional information to that given in the above sections.

You also have the option to upload a covering letter, which gives you an opportunity to state why you want a place on the scheme and to provide additional details you feel would support your application.

The application form may take between one and two hours to complete, so please make sure you allocate sufficient time to complete it.

Aptitude tests

If you are shortlisted, you’ll be asked to complete a number of online aptitude tests which measure both technical and comprehension reasoning. Details of the tests will be sent to you via email.

Interview

If you are successful following the aptitude tests, you’ll be asked to attend an interview at Drax Power Station. Any specific interview requirements will be sent to you prior to the interview.

Final selection and start date

For successful candidates a provisional offer will be made subject to attaining the necessary qualifications. The scheme usually commences mid- to end-of August each year.

Email communication

All communication during the application process will be made via email, therefore please ensure you enter your email address correctly and you have access to your email account during the application period.

Can I apply for the scheme again?

If you have previously applied for a place on the apprentice scheme and were unsuccessful then you can apply again. It is important to ensure you demonstrate how you have developed since you last applied, for example, any additional qualifications you have attained or work experience you have undertaken.

Additional information

For further information on applying for a vacancy at Drax please see our Careers FAQs. If you are unable to find the information you are looking for or are having difficulties with our recruitment system, please contact the recruitment team.