Selby apprentices win top prizes at Drax awards

Two talented apprentice engineers from the Selby area have won top prizes at Drax Power Station’s annual awards event in recognition of their achievements over the last year.

Apprenticeships award evening 2019

Kai Lewis, aged 18 from Selby, won the Uniper Engineering Academy Apprentice of the Year Award and Max Shaw, 22, from Gateforth, near Selby, was named Maintenance Apprentice of the Year (Year 2).

Kai always knew he wanted a career in engineering and growing up only a few miles from Drax, he was curious about how the power station, which is the UK’s largest renewable power generator, worked.

Now, having completed two years of his apprenticeship as a technical engineer he is learning more about the important role he and the other engineers play in maintaining the power station so it can continue to produce enough renewable electricity for four million households.

Kai, who attended Snaith High School said:

“Changing Drax from a coal plant to one that could eventually be capturing carbon whilst generating power is a huge challenge that is really exciting to be a part of. Being at the forefront of that kind of innovation and learning new skills on the apprenticeship programme is a great opportunity and it’s great to be recognised for the work I’ve done with this award.”

Max, a Selby High School graduate and third year technical apprentice hopes to further his engineering career once he completes his apprenticeship. He said:

“It means a lot to win this award – it shows that all the hard work I have put in throughout the year has paid off. I’m enjoying my apprenticeship – every day I am learning something new.”

L-R: Mike Maudsley, Max Shaw and Harry Gration

Max’s passion for engineering started from a young age helping his dad, an agricultural engineer.

Mike Maudsley, Drax’s UK Portfolio Generation Director, said of the apprentice awards:

“Inspiring young people and supporting them in their early careers is essential for our business’ future. Each new cohort of apprentices brings enthusiasm and fresh ideas and we want to make sure we’re championing them.

“These awards come straight after Drax doubled the number of apprentices it hired in the space of just two years, reflecting our continued commitment to increasing education and skills across our region.”

The awards were presented by BBC Look North’s Harry Gration with 34 existing and 5 graduating apprentices attending the event along with their mentors and managers.

This year’s winners were:

  • Maintenance Apprentice of the Year 2019 Year 1 – Lewis Marran from Doncaster
  • Maintenance Apprentice of the Year 2019 Year 2 – Max Shaw from Gateforth
  • Maintenance Apprentice of the Year 2019 Year 4 – Josh O’Rourke from Goole
  • Business Apprentice of the Year 2019 and winner of the Paul Chambers Outstanding Achievement Award – Thomas Hughes from Goole
  • Uniper Engineering Academy Apprentice of the Year 2019 – Kai Lewis from Selby

Drax’s technical apprenticeship scheme helps new recruits gain skills and expertise by working alongside engineers who have helped transform the business into the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

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

Drax also offers apprenticeships in business support areas, such as Finance and Business Administration. All opportunities are advertised on our website.


View Doncaster awards press release.

View Goole awards press release.

Media contacts:

Ali Lewis
Drax Group Head of Media & PR
E: [email protected]
T: 07712670888

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

 Editor’s Notes

  • 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

About Drax

Drax Group’s ambition is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future. Its 2,600-strong staff 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 electricity generation assets across Britain. 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 two thirds of 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.

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.


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

For more information visit