Drax more than doubles its apprentice intake

Thirteen apprentices have kick started their careers at Drax Power Station – more than twice the number the UK’s biggest renewable power generator employed two years ago, further boosting STEM education and skills in the region.

Draw Power Station apprentices 2019

Twelve are technical apprentices who could go on to become the power generator’s engineers of the future with one further apprentice joining Drax’s system security team, working to ensure the safety of all staff on site. Six will be in mechanical positions, four in electrical and two working in the control and instrumentation teams.

In the first half of 2019, Drax halved its carbon emissions compared to the year before with more than 90% of the power produced being renewable – enough for more than four million households.

This was made possible as a result of the world class innovation and skill of its inhouse engineers who pioneered the conversion of two thirds of the power station near Selby in North Yorkshire, from coal to use sustainable biomass, delivering carbon savings of more than 80%.

Andy Koss, CEO Generation said:

“One of the highlights of my job is welcoming our newest apprentices to Drax each year – these are the people who could be the shining stars of the future, the ones who will help us to develop the new, cutting edge technologies needed to enable our business to continue to grow.

“Supporting ambitious young people to develop their skills is critical to the future success of our business. By helping them to grow and learn, we can ensure that we have the talented workforce our business and the wider Northern Powerhouse region needs to thrive.”

Drax’s technical apprenticeship scheme gives new recruits the opportunity to gain skills and expertise by working alongside some of the best engineers in the world, who have helped transform the business to become the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

And Drax could go further – by scaling up its successful bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot, it could become the world’s first negative emissions power station. This means it would be reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at the same time as producing renewable power – critical to reaching the UK’s net zero carbon ambitions.

This year’s apprentices are aged between 15 and 22 with five from Goole and the rest coming from across Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.

One of them, Dan Callon, was part of the successful team from Selby College, supported by Drax, which won the Green Power EV race for schools in Hull earlier in the year.

Dan, from Brayton in Selby, said of his new apprenticeship:

“I knew I wanted to work in a hands-on, practical engineering role but didn’t want to go down the academic route. Having opportunities like this at Drax was a really good move for me.”

The 17-year-old added:

“I really enjoyed building and racing the electric car in the Green Power Race which Drax organised – I got to work with some of my friends from Selby College, as well as getting advice from engineers at Drax – in the end we actually won the overall race.

“I’m looking forward to progressing my career with Drax, learning new skills and getting some good experience here.”

Simran Ley, aged 20, has also joined Drax as a technical apprentice. She said:

“I knew I wanted to go down the apprenticeship route as it provides the sort of practical experience you can’t get at university. Drax is well known for its engineering, it made it an obvious choice for me to apply to.”

The Drax Technical Apprenticeship Training Scheme is a four-year programme, and specialises in three engineering disciplines: Mechanical, Electrical and Control & Instrumentation. Drax’s System Security Apprenticeship is a three-year, Level 3 Fire Emergency and Security Systems Apprenticeship, in conjunction with Lincoln College.

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.


Media contacts:

Matt Willey
Drax Group External Affairs Director
E: [email protected]
T: 07711376087

Joshua Atkins
Drax Group Press Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07970256355

Notes to Editors

  • Drax has a longstanding commitment to STEM learning, with around 12,000 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.
  • It is also investing to help boost educational skills by working closely with local schools and colleges to encourage STEM learning.
  • In 2017 Drax welcomed six technical apprentices compared to nine in 2018, and 12 in 2019 with a further system security apprentice, demonstrating its commitment to retaining and developing a skilled workforce.
  • It has also launched a new apprenticeship scheme at its Scottish power generation sites which it is recruiting to now.
  • To find out more about working at Drax, go to https://www.drax.com/uk/careers/

About Drax

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.

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of flexible, low carbon and renewable electricitygeneration assets across Britain. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, basedat 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 ofcoal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largestdecarbonisation 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.

B2B supply:

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.

Pellet production:

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 togenerate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/uk