Next generation of engineers kick start careers at Drax - Drax

Next generation of engineers kick start careers at Drax

Drax Power Station has increased its intake of apprentices this year by almost 50% as part of its drive to retain and develop its in house engineering skill and expertise.

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The technical apprentice scheme at Drax offers apprentices the chance to learn a trade, develop new skills and launch their career in engineering at the UK’s biggest power station and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

The nine apprentices will be trained in engineering to work within the maintenance department at Drax Power Station, near Selby in North Yorkshire. They will work on new and recently upgraded plant designed to process biomass and the maintenance of the power station.

Having upgraded two thirds of the power station from coal to use renewable biomass, nearly 70% of the power produced at Drax Power Station, is now renewable – enough for four million households.

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO said:

“I welcome this year’s apprentices – they have a really bright future ahead of them.

“Apprenticeships are vital to our success as a business. Having talented people at all stages of their careers is important in building and retaining the skilled workforce we need, if we are to continue to innovate and enable the business to grow.

“As one of the major employers in the Northern Powerhouse region, we have an important role to play in helping to drive up standards in education by making sure children and young people have inspirational experiences in the world of work.

“At Drax we’re delivering on that, both by increasing the number of apprenticeships we’re offering and through the outreach work we do with schools and colleges which enables thousands of students to visit the power station each year.”

This year’s apprentices, from Selby, Goole, Doncaster, North Lincolnshire and Gainsborough, are aged between 16 and 19.

Jamie Goodall, 16, from Addingfleet, near Goole, said, “I’m really looking forward to getting some hands-on, practical experience. I was really ready to get out of a school classroom and start learning in a different way, so it’s exciting to be here.”

18-year-old Cameron Shipstone, from Hemingbrough, near Selby, added, “My dad works at Drax and has done so his whole working life. I visited the power station when I was young and saw the scale of everything, and all the interesting things that were going on.

“I then did some work experience at Drax, and realised a career in engineering was so much more appealing than going to uni – I can’t wait to get started now.”

Andy Koss continued, “Many of our engineers, section heads and department managers are former Drax apprentices who have spent 30 years or more at the plant.

“We’re doing a lot of exciting things at the moment so it’s a great time to join – we’ve just successfully converted our fourth generating unit from coal to biomass and we’re also exploring options for repowering our two remaining coal units to gas and developing large-scale battery storage.”

The Drax Apprenticeship Training Scheme is a four-year programme, and specialises in three engineering disciplines: Mechanical, Electrical and Control & Instrumentation.

Drax offers apprenticeships in engineering disciplines as well as business support areas, such as Finance and Business Administration. All opportunities are advertised on our website.

ENDS

Media contact

Jessica Gorton
Drax Group Press Officer
E: jessica.gorton@drax.com
T: 01757 612848

Notes to editors:

  • Drax has a longstanding commitment to STEM learning, with around 13,000 educational visits to the power station each year. These range from primary school pupils to degree level students, and all visits are tailored to the level of the visiting school, college or university.
  • In 2017 Drax welcomed six technical apprentices compared to nine in 2018 – an increase of 50 per cent.
  • To find out more about working at Drax, go to https://www.drax.com/careers/

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies six percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest single site renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel 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