Drax is offering young people a valuable insight into the world of work at its sites in Scotland, including Cruachan Power Station near Oban, as part of the renewable energy company’s commitment to supporting education and skills.
This is the first time Drax has run its in-person work experience programme since before March 2020 when the company had to stop educational visits due to Covid restrictions.
The programme gives students the opportunity to work alongside highly trained staff, observe practical tasks and ask questions to improve understanding and help them decide if a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) career is right for them.
Owen Moran, aged 16, spent a week at Cruachan Power Station shadowing engineers and getting an insight into what work on the plant is like.
He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my work experience at Cruachan. It was great to develop a further understanding of the inner workings of the station and work alongside great people. I look forward to hopefully applying for one of next year’s apprenticeship roles.”
The on-site work experience week builds on what the students learned during an online programme earlier this year during the Easter holidays.
Drax’s Scottish Assets & Generation Engineering Director Ian Kinnaird, said: “We work closely with schools in our communities to inspire young people from all backgrounds to study STEM subjects, so the next generation has the education and skills needed to support businesses like ours as we continue to develop and grow.
“We’re pleased to be able to offer in-person work placements at our sites again and hope that this will give students a valuable insight into the world of work and spark an interest in STEM subjects.”
Drax welcomed 12 work experience students across its sites in Scotland, including Daldowie Fuel Plant near Glasgow. At the end of the week, each student was presented with a certificate of achievement and a £100 Amazon voucher to spend on books and educational resources.
Douglas Chapman, MP for Dunfermline and West Fife and the SNP’s Westminster Spokesperson for Small Business, Enterprise and Innovation, met some of Cruachan’s work placement students during a recent visit to the power station. He said, “It’s great to see businesses like Drax offering opportunities for young people to learn about and prepare for the world of work.
“If we are to reach our goal of net zero, we need to ensure that the next generation has the skills needed to fill green energy roles. Offering young people the chance the explore these careers is vital to get them interested in STEM subjects and help them discover the wide range of choices available for their future.”
More information about work experience at Drax is available on the website.
Drax runs a variety of initiatives to support STEM education and skills in Scotland including virtual workshops in schools and providing laptops for students.
Photo caption: Owen Moran, with Douglas Chapman MP for Dunfermline and West Fife at Cruachan Power Station
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Notes to editors:
Drax first introduced virtual work experience in June 2020 as a result of not being able to run its usual on-site work experience programmes due to Covid restrictions and decided to continue the programme after receiving a positive response from those who took part.
Students who took part in Drax’s virtual work experience programme aged 14-18 could then choose from a variety of different business areas and sites to do the in-person week of their placement. The programme provides an opportunity to learn about the renewable energy company, focusing on developing employability skills and learning about their business area through practical experience and conversations with employees.
Offering work experience virtually also enables more students to participate from across England and Scotland, who may previously have found it difficult to take part, due to barriers preventing their attendance, such as geography, opportunity, and economic factors.
Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology.
Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit www.drax.com
Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. 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 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. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.
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.
The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver 4 million tonnes of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets.
Pellet production and supply:
The Group has 17 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around 5 million tonnes a year.
Drax is targeting 8 million tonnes of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over 3 million tonnes of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.
Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia.
Drax supplies renewable electricity to UK businesses, offering a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.
To find out more go to the website www.energy.drax.com