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 career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) is right for them. Students who took part could choose from a variety of business areas including engineering, IT, finance, and facilities.
Dylan Baines, who is in Year 10 at school, spent a week at Drax Power Station working with colleagues in the trading department. Dylan was already familiar with Drax having built a car with the Drax Green team in Primary School that won a race in Hull for his school and for Drax.
He said: “I chose to do my work experience at Drax because I was recommended it and I know that it is a very successful company where the staff are very helpful and supportive.”
“I’m very interested in engineering and fixing machines and getting my hands dirty. I know that Drax has a very good engineering department, and they are always looking for new people and always trying to help people as much as they can.”
Polly Whyley chose to work in the logistics team, learning all about the company’s supply chain and how Drax is able to generate enough power for millions of homes and businesses.
She said: “I chose to do my work experience at Drax because it seemed like a very interesting place to work- I thought it was the kind of place that I may not ever get the opportunity to visit again and that I should take the chance to see what it was like.”
“I am planning to study Physics at university and coming to Drax has made me consider a career in the energy sector. I had not previously known the variety of STEM roles required in the area.”
Bobby Rodger, spent a week shadowing engineers in the maintenance team. Bobby, whose dad Mike works in Operations at Drax Power Station, said:
“I have really enjoyed my time at Drax. I feel it has helped me grow in confidence from meeting all the new people and have learned a lot about teamwork and safety. It has really inspired me to push on at school and try to achieve the grades I need to achieve.
“I feel as though I have made friends at Drax and really felt welcomed straight away and felt the team had planned in advance for my arrival with many things to do and see. The team were lovely and involved me in everything all week.”
Oliver McNiff, who also did a week’s work experience with the logistics team, said:
“I personally chose Drax Power Station for my work experience because I am trying to take engineering courses when I am older and hopefully have a career in the design engineering front. I live near drax so I knew a lot about what the company did and thought, There was no better place for engineering than Drax.”
“I found the work experience very informative and fun. My week was very engineering based and we went everywhere from looking at how train companies modify their wagons to eliminate any potential faults to viewing the massive fleets and logistics side of things.”
Prior to attending the in-person work experience, all students completed an induction day, which introduced them to career opportunities at Drax and gave them the opportunity to improve their employability skills, through activities such as CV coaching and interview practice. They were also able to meet and network with potential managers and senior leaders.
Bruce Heppenstall, Plant Director, said:
“We work closely with schools in our communities to inspire young people from all backgrounds to study STEM subjects. It’s important that the next generation has the education and skills needed to support businesses like ours in new fields like bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, also known as BECCS, as we continue to decarbonise.
“We’re pleased to be able to offer in-person work placements at our sites and hope that this will give students a valuable insight into the world of work and spark an interest in STEM subjects.”
Drax is welcoming 45 work experience students across its sites in the UK, including Cruachan Power Station in Scotland. At the end of the week, each student will be presented with a certificate of achievement and a £100 Amazon voucher to spend on books and educational resources.
Drax runs a variety of initiatives to support STEM education and skills including offering power station tours and running interactive workshops for students. This includes initiatives supported by the Drax Foundation, launched earlier this year, which funds initiatives that support STEM, as well as those that improve green spaces and enhance biodiversity within local communities.
More information about work experience at Drax is available on the website.
- L-R: Polly Whyley, Charlie Haller, Bobby Rodger, Dylan Baines, Edward Heffernan, James Miller, Oliver Hill
- Bobby Rodger with sister Erin who is currently is the first year of her apprenticeship in the Human Resources department at Drax Power Station
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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 19 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 energy.drax.com