Around 100 students aged 14 to 18 from Selby College, Holy Family Catholic High School in Carlton and Selby High School, spent the afternoon at the power plant in Yorkshire where female employees from Drax ran group activities, games and mini workshops at stands to illustrate the skills they use in their daily jobs.
At the event, the girls crowded around stands that highlighted careers in 10 different areas at Drax: Business Ethics, Viable Fuels & Sustainability, Facilities, Procurement, Engineering and Maintenance, Finance, Fuel & Logistics, Research & Innovation, Communications and IT. Community Engagement & Outreach and Human Resources, who organised the event, were also on hand to answer career questions.
Jess Williams, who is studying Mechanical Engineering at Selby College, said:
“Talking to the female engineers made me realise how much there is on offer at Drax and it’s inspired me to apply for an apprenticeship here when I finish college and university. It was great to see how involved the women are in keeping the power station running.”
Ella Parsonag, who is a student at Selby High School, said:
“I think it’s important as a woman to pursue careers in engineering. Such career paths aren’t popular at the moment and I would like to inspire more young women to become part of the engineering industry – there are good opportunities and the world will always need engineers.”
Rosie and Molly, students at Holy Family Catholic High School in Carlton, said it was important for women to get involved and push for the same opportunities as men.
“Just because we’re female doesn’t mean we’re any less entitled to get the job we want in the future,” said Rosie.
Alongside the Engineering department’s stand which had a model of how the power station works, the Finance team’s Drax monopoly board illustrated the value of making the right decisions. Research & Innovation’s Top Trumps game focused on evaluating new ideas and projects while Fuel and Logistics showed the steps needed to bring fuel for the power station from Canada and the US.
In the Drax boardroom looking out onto the power station’s cooling towers, the Business & Ethics team challenged the girls to identify the correct response to a hypothetical situation that could be potentially harmful to the company, such as corruption and bribery.
Back in the main room, the communications team helped the girls make their own videos to promote the company externally on social media.
Vicky Bullivant, Drax Group Head of Sustainable Business said:
“We want to inspire the young women of tomorrow and show them the fantastic career opportunities at Drax for people from all backgrounds. Everyone benefits in a diverse and inclusive workplace – it brings new perspectives, ideas and approaches and helps strengthen the company and communities.
“Events like these and the many others we do throughout the year give us the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the communities we operate in.”
Drax has a long tradition of supporting educational initiatives and encouraging interest in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects (STEM) to help inspire the next generation of professionals.
Earlier this year, Drax invested £35,000 in the GreenPower initiative which helped pupils at seven local schools assemble electric vehicles from kits for a race in Hull in April. Drax employees also provided 160 hours of volunteer time to support the students involved in the project.
Top image caption: Group picture of students from Selby High School, Selby College and Holy Family Catholic High School in Carlton and Drax staff at the Women of the Future event held at Drax Power Station.
- Drax is committed to diversity in the workforce and is a member of several groups to advance gender diversity in energy, science, technology and engineering including POWERful Women, Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and Women in Technology.
- Drax also sponsors the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Diversity and Inclusion in STEM.
- In 2018, around a third of Drax’s 2,700 employees were female. This year Drax took on two female apprentices.
- Drax’s apprentice scheme has been running for over 15 years across the company’s sites throughout the UK.
- The apprenticeships are in a variety of departments such as engineering, finance and business.
- Drax is committed to STEM learning and hosts over 12,000 visits to the power station each year free of charge. These include visits from primary school pupils to degree level students, and all visits are tailored to the level of the visiting school, college or university.
- Drax has partnerships with the National STEM Learning Centre, The British Science Association, Teach First, Engineering UK, Business in the Community, Selby College and created a Drax cluster of seven schools (primary and secondary), as part of our education outreach programme.
- To find out more about working at Drax, go to https://www.drax.com/northamerica/careers/
Drax Group’s ambition is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future. Its 2,600-strong employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.
Drax owns and operates a portfolio of flexible, low carbon and renewable electricity generation assets across Britain. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.
Having converted two thirds of Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.
Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan. It also owns and operates four gas power stations in England.
For more information visit www.drax.com/northamerica
Drax owns two B2B energy supply businesses:
- Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity and energy services to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.
- Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity, energy services and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.
Drax owns and operates three pellet mills in the US South which manufacture compressed wood pellets (biomass) produced from sustainably managed working forests. These pellet mills supply around 20% of the biomass used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.
For more information visit www.drax.com/northamerica