Glasgow apprentices win top prizes and Drax awards

Two apprentices from Glasgow have won top prizes at Drax’s annual apprentice awards event in recognition of their achievements over the past year at Daldowie Fuel Plant.

Paul Firth and Ian Kinnaird

Paul Firth, age 21 from Motherwell, has won Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 2) after being commended for the excellent quality of his work. Paul received outstanding feedback from his colleagues who said that he tackles any task that comes his way and always has a positive ‘can-do’ attitude.

Paul, who is now entering the third year of his apprenticeship, said: “It’s been a great night at the awards and I’m really proud to have won two years in a row. I’ve enjoyed working with the team at Daldowie and getting hands on skills, it’s a great place to do an apprenticeship. I’m looking forward to progressing and learning even more next year.”

Gregor Fraser and Ian Kinnaird

Gregor Fraser, age 23 from Lenzie, was awarded Craft Apprentice of the Year (Year 3) for being proactive and taking the lead on a number of projects.

Gregor said,

“I’m really happy about winning an award, it feels great to be recognised for my work this year. It’s also been good to meet people from other sites and get to know them.

“The best bit about doing an apprenticeship is how much you can learn from the engineers that work there. I’m looking forward to completing my apprenticeship and hopefully getting a permanent job on site.”

The 55 apprentices from across the group gathered at the Drax Sports and Social Club, near to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire, for the celebration which also included a day of team building activities. This is the first time since before the Covid pandemic that the event has been able to be held in person.

Ian Kinnaird, Director of Drax’s Scottish Generation Assets, who co-hosted the event, said:

“Drax is committed to championing and supporting people in their early careers. Hiring and developing a talented workforce of the future is essential for a business like Drax.

“Apprentices all have unique talents and bring a new perspective, that we can learn from. It’s been fantastic to be able to hand out the awards to this year’s winners and celebrate their achievements in person after having held the awards virtually the last couple of years due to Covid. All the apprentices should be extremely proud of themselves, they have a bright future ahead of them.”

This year’s winners were:

  • Technical Apprentice of the Year (Year 1) and winner of the HETA Mechanical Apprentice of the Year and Award for Excellence – Patrick Harpham, age 20 from Selby
  • Technical Apprentice of the Year (Year 2) – Declan Farmer, age 19 from Gilberdyke near Brough
  • Technical Apprentice of the Year (Year 3) – James Taylor, age 20 from Thorne and Simran Ley, age 24 from Selby
  • Technical Apprentice of the Year (Year 4) and the Paul Chambers Outstanding Achievement Award – Sam Plumb, age 23 from Kirton in Lindsey, near Gainsborough
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Scotland, Year 2) – Paul Firth, age 21 from Motherwell near Glasgow
  • Craft Apprentice of the Year (Scotland, Year 3) – Gregor Fraser, age 23 from Lenzie near Glasgow
  • Business Apprentice of the Year – Luke Crossland, age 23 from Wrenthorpe near Wakefield
  • HETA Electrical Apprentice of the Year – Sam Easthill, age 23 from Cliffe near Selby

Drax’s long-running apprenticeship scheme is part of its commitment to developing new talent as well as upskilling the workforce across the region. Drax has 55 apprentices as well as 57 existing employees working towards apprenticeship qualifications at other career levels within the business.

The craft apprenticeship scheme gives new recruits the opportunity to gain skills and expertise by working alongside highly qualified engineers. It is a four-year programme, and specialises in three engineering disciplines: Mechanical, Electrical and Control & Instrumentation. In addition to engineering disciplines, Drax also offers apprenticeship qualifications in business support areas such as HR, cyber security and administration.

Earlier this year, Drax submitted an application for its exciting plans to more than double the generating capacity of its iconic ‘Hollow Mountain’ Cruachan Power Station in Argyll and Bute.

Under the plans, a second underground power station will be built adjacent to the existing one to enable Cruachan to play an even bigger role in supporting the expansion of renewable energy sources such as wind power and provide lifeline stability services to the national grid.

Around 900 jobs will be created and indirectly supported during the new power station’s construction, providing a huge boost to communities around Loch Awe and across Argyll, with the project supporting UK energy security and climate targets.


Main photo caption: Gregor Fraser, Ian Kinnaird Director of Drax’s Scottish Generation Assets and Paul Firth

Media contacts:

Megan Hopgood
Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07936 350 175

Editor’s Notes

Drax has been running an apprenticeship scheme for almost two decades at its eponymous power station in North Yorkshire and also offers internships and graduate schemes as part of its dedication to improving skills and increasing opportunities for young people across the region. In 2020, Drax extended its apprenticeship scheme to its sites in Scotland, including Cruachan Hydroelectric Power Station in Argyll and Bute and Daldowie Fuel Plant near Glasgow which produces sustainable biofuel from waste.

Drax runs a variety of initiatives to support STEM education and skills in Scotland including offering power station toursinteractive workshops and work experience opportunities.

Applications are opening soon for Drax’s next work experience for students in Y10-Y12 or S4-S6 in Scotland. For more details go to

About Drax

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

Power generation:

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