The apprentice engineers have won places on the technical apprenticeship scheme at Drax Power Station near Selby in North Yorkshire – the UK’s largest single site renewable power generator, which produces enough renewable electricity for four million homes.
The four-year programme gives new recruits the opportunity to gain expertise working alongside the world-class engineers at Britain’s biggest power station which has become one of Europe’s largest decarbonisation projects following its conversion from coal to using sustainable wood pellets.
Bruce Heppenstall, Drax Plant Director said:
“Meeting our new apprentices is one of the highlights of my job. Providing these young people with the tools needed to become the skilled workforce of the future is not only essential to the success of our business, it’s also an incredibly rewarding part of what we do.
“Giving our apprentices the opportunity to work on the cutting-edge, environmental technologies of the future will ensure we’re nurturing our in-house talent and creating opportunities for people here in the North to lead the green energy revolution needed to get the UK to net zero, supporting a post-covid economic recovery.”
Centime Breach-Frank, aged 19 from Goole, who has joined Drax as an electrical apprentice, said:
“I applied for an apprenticeship at Drax because it offers incredible opportunities and the chance to gain experience for my future career. I’m most looking forward to meeting and working alongside highly skilled engineers, many of whom started out their careers as apprentices in the same way I have.”
Mechanical apprentice Ryan Stocks, aged 19 from Barlby, near Selby said:
“I applied for an apprenticeship at Drax because of all the opportunities it offers and the innovations they’re currently working on such as the BECCS project. I think the future for Drax is exciting and I’m proud to be joining the team. I’m looking forward to working with experienced engineers to broaden my skills and knowledge of the industry.”
The apprentices beginning their careers at Drax Power Station this year are:
- Centime Breach-Frank,19, from Goole
- Ethan Dealtry, 18, from Goole
- Ethan Stringer, 19, from Thorne, Doncaster
- Jack Woods, 19, from Thorpe Willoughby
- Joshua Whiteley, 17, from Osgodby, near Selby
- Matthew Taylor, 17, from Knottingley, near Ferrybridge
- Ryan Stocks, 19, from Barlby, near Selby
They will be trained within the maintenance department of the power station, with three of them in mechanical roles and four working alongside the electrical and instrumentation team.
Drax offers apprenticeships in business support areas as well as engineering disciplines. A further six apprentices will start work in September in the HR, IT and facilities departments.
Drax aims to become carbon negative by 2030 by using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and recently submitted plans to build two BECCS units, creating and supporting tens of thousands of jobs across the North.
Work to build BECCS at Drax could start as soon as 2024 and once operational the two units combined will capture at least 8 million tonnes of CO2 per year, making a significant contribution to the UK’s efforts to address the climate crisis, whilst generating the renewable electricity the country needs.
Photo caption: Top row: Ethan Stringer, Ethan Dealtry, Centime Breach-Frank, Josh Whiteley. Bottom Row: Ryan Stocks, Jack Woods and Matthew Taylor
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Notes to editors:
The apprentices will start work on-site at Drax once they have completed formal training at the Humberside Engineering Training Association.
Drax is hiring a total of 20 apprentices this year across its sites in the UK, including four in Scotland. All opportunities are advertised on the Drax website.
Drax has been running an apprenticeship scheme at its North Yorkshire power station for almost two decades and also runs several internships and graduate schemes as part of its dedication to improving skills and increasing opportunities for young people across the region.
The energy company is also committed to helping its existing employees to boost their skills to ensure they are ready to work on new green technologies liked BECCS. Around 50 employees across the group are studying for apprenticeship qualifications.
Drax runs a variety of initiatives to support STEM education and skills including offering power station tours, interactive workshops and work experience opportunities.
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