Surge in apprenticeship numbers at Drax Power Station

Andy Koss
Andy Koss
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DRAX Power Station has taken on 13 new apprentices, more than doubling the intake it registered two years ago.

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.

Drax

Drax

Six will be in mechanical positions, four in electrical and two working in the control and instrumentation teams.

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

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Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO, 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.”

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

Read more: How Drax could be set to save £1m a year
This involved the conversion of two thirds of the power station from coal to use sustainable biomass, delivering carbon savings of more than 80 per cent.

Drax has ambitions of becoming the world’s first negative emissions power station by 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.

One of the new trainees is Dan Callon, part of the successful team from Selby College, supported by Drax, which won the GreenPower 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 GreenPower 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.”

Drax offers apprenticeships in engineering disciplines as well as business support areas, such as finance and business administration.

It has also recently launched a scheme to recruit apprentices at its Scottish power generation sites and plans to publish more details on this later in the year.