15 -year-old students rose to the challenge of becoming tour guides at the UK’s biggest power station as part of an initiative aimed at boosting skills.
Year 10 pupils from Holy Family Catholic High School in Carlton, near Selby, put their public speaking and presentation skills to the test when they became the latest recruits to the Visitor Centre team at Drax Power Station – the UK’s biggest renewable power generator.
The school has been participating in the Diana Award Mentoring Scheme, which pairs volunteer mentors from industry with young people to give them an insight into the world of work and career skills training.
Through weekly group sessions, the students worked with the Drax visitor centre team on skills including project planning, critical thinking and interview techniques.
Danny Devlin, Careers Lead and Physics teacher at Holy Family School who led the project said:
“The programme has been a massive success and the students have gained so much from it.
“One skill the students identified as something they’d like to improve was public speaking and presentation skills, and what better way to practice this than to explain how Drax works?
“The experience has been invaluable to them – they have really grown in confidence. None of it would have been achieved without the excellent support and guidance from the staff at Drax.”
Research for the Northern Powerhouse Partnership has shown that students in the north are falling behind their counterparts in other parts of the country when it comes to education and skills – highlighting the need for employers to do more to help inspire pupils and ensure the region has the skilled workforce it needs to succeed
Jane Breach, Visitor Centre and Communities Manager at Drax said:
“It’s been really rewarding to work with Holy Family School as mentors, and see the students grow in confidence. This exercise helped the students to develop a valuable skill, and we are delighted to support the programme as part of our commitment to STEM learning in the area.
“Providing these kinds of inspirational opportunities for students where they get the chance to work with people in industries like ours are so important – it opens up a whole range of new possibilities for them – and contributes to ensuring the next generation has the skills employers like Drax needs.”
Drax’s commitment to STEM learning includes running a long-established apprenticeship scheme – it has doubled the number of apprentices it is taking on this year compared to two years ago and has reinstated an apprentice scheme at its new power stations in Scotland.
It has also invested in a new initiative with local schools and colleges through the GreenPower project which provides students with EV kit cars to build and race aimed at inspiring them to study STEM subjects.
Drax Group Press Officer
Drax Group’s ambition is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future. Its 2,600-strong staff 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.
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