Drax apprentices shine at awards

Five apprentices have taken the top prizes at the 2018 Drax Power Apprenticeship Awards, which celebrated those starting their careers at the UK’s largest power station.

Mechanical craftsperson Jack Bailey, from Pontefract, shared the Year 4 award with Jack Morris, from Doncaster. The judges said it was ‘impossible’ to decide between them, as they had both been outstanding throughout their entire four-year apprenticeship. Both winners will now continue their careers with Drax in the engineering department.

Jack Bailey, 20, also took home the Paul Chambers Outstanding Achievement Award.

He said:

“It’s just been an incredible night. Winning one award was a great feeling but to win two is just amazing.”

Jack Morris, also 20, added:

“It’s a fantastic feeling to know that we’ve been selected out of all the really good apprentices there are. I’ve still got lots to learn but it’s great experience. There’s so much technical ability at Drax to learn from, it’s a fantastic start for us all.”

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO, said:

“Our apprentices are the future of our business and these award winners are our rising stars – their commitment, as well as the enthusiasm and talent they bring, is inspiring to see.

“An apprenticeship is a brilliant way to start a career in engineering. We’ve got lots of successful former apprentices working at Drax Power Station – there are engineers, section heads and department managers who all started out as apprentices.

“Investing in skills and the future of our people is vital not just for our business but for the Northern Powerhouse region and the UK as a whole. I’m looking forward to seeing all of our award winners continue to progress and develop their careers here at Drax.”

The awards event was held at Drax Sports and Social Club and was hosted by BBC Look North presenter Clare Frisby.

Other winners included:

  • Electrical craftsperson Jake Dawson, 21, from Carlton, near Selby, who rounded off his first 12 months as an apprentice at Drax by being named the Year 1 Apprentice of the Year. He was praised for his work ethic and the reliability he had shown so early on in his career.
  • Electrical craftsperson Tom Glennon-Fell, 20, from Selby, who was named the Year 3 Apprentice of the Year, for his enthusiasm to learn and willingness to go the extra mile.
  • Thomas Hughes, 26, from Goole, who picked up the Business Apprentice of the Year Award for his work to support teams across Drax Group. Thomas was commended for his attention to detail and for consistently delivering good results.

Drax increased its intake of apprentices this year by almost 50%, with nine new starters getting the chance to learn a trade, develop new skills and launch their career in engineering at the Selby-based power station, the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

It will be accepting applications for technical apprenticeships in January with further opportunities in business support areas, such as finance and business administration, becoming available throughout the year. Drax is keen to attract applications from people of all backgrounds and to encourage diversity.

More information about apprenticeships is available on the Drax website.

– Ends –

Media contacts:

Jessica Gorton
Drax Group Press Officer
E: [email protected]
T: 07712677177

Mark Duffell
MCD Communications Ltd
E: [email protected]
T: 01484 968238
M: 07969 080272

Notes to editors:

The Drax Power Apprenticeship Awards recognise individuals who have excelled consistently throughout the year across all areas of their development, achieving high standards and results both academically and practically while also demonstrating a real determination to succeed.

The winners were carefully selected by a panel of managers and supervisors, the HR team at Drax and the Uniper Training Academy. The Uniper Training Academy is dedicated top inspiring and supporting engineers. They offer apprenticeship programmes to help gain experience in the sector. Drax has a partnership with the academy to train its technical apprentices.

The Overall Outstanding Achievement Award was named after Paul Chambers for the first time in 2017. Paul was a lead engineer in the safety team at Drax for more than ten years. He was heavily involved in the apprenticeship scheme at Drax Power Station before he died in 2016.

Drax has a longstanding commitment to STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) learning, with around 13,000 educational visits to the power station taking place each year.

These range from Primary School to degree level, and all visits are tailored to the level of the visiting school, college or university.

Schools and colleges interested in visiting Drax Power Station for a tour or hearing more about the outreach work it does with educational establishments, should contact [email protected].

Drax and STEM Learning

Drax has a longstanding commitment to STEM learning, with around 20,000 educational visits to the power station taking place in 2017. These range from Primary School to degree level, and all visits are tailored to the level of the visiting school, college or university.

To find out more about working at Drax, go to www.drax.com/us/careers/

Photo caption:

Thomas Hughes (back) – Business Apprentice of the Year

Jack Bailey (front) – Year 4 winner and Overall and recently qualified

Joe Gallagher – recently qualified

Tom Glennon-Fell – Year 3 winner

Daniel Riley – recently qualified

Jack Morris – Year 4 winner and recently qualified

Jake Dawson (front) – Year 1 winner

About Drax

Drax Group plc plays a vital role in helping change the way energy is generated, supplied and used. Its 2,300-strong staff operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.

The Group includes:

Drax Power Ltd, which operates the largest power station in the UK, based at Selby, North Yorkshire and supplies six percent of the country’s electricity needs. The energy firm converted from burning coal to become a predominantly biomass-fuelled electricity generator. Drax is the biggest renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.

Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.

Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

Drax Biomass, is based in the US and manufactures compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests, supplying fuel used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

For more information visit www.drax.com/us