EDF Energy apprentice scheme nets national award

DELIGHTED: Hartlepool man - and EDF Energy apprentice manager - Ian Williams
DELIGHTED: Hartlepool man - and EDF Energy apprentice manager - Ian Williams

AN energy company’s training programme has been judged the best in the country by an awards scheme.

EDF Energy’s apprentice training scheme, which works with dozens of people every year including trainees from Hartlepool Power Station, has won a prestigious industry award with one of the judges describing it as ‘a very impressive programme’.

The honour came at the second Nuclear Engineering International magazine’s awards which looked at a wide range of training and education programmes provided by companies and also higher education. Judges handed the EDF Energy’s scheme the Apprenticeship of the Year accolade.

Hartlepool man Ian Williams, is EDF Energy’s apprentice manager who heads up the training programme at HMS Sultan on the south coast.

He said: “I am delighted that the scheme has won this award which recognises the quality of the training we offer our apprentices.

“And it’s not only the technical training side that this award recognises, but the fact that as the apprentices are away from home for two years we also offer a range of life skills and leisure activities.”

Each year around 60 new apprentices join the four-year programme, which is based at Babcock’s Engineering Academy HMS Sultan, near Portsmouth.

The first two years are spent at HMS Sultan and the final two years at the apprentices’ base power station.

The competition judges praised the EDF Energy apprenticeship programme for what they described as its balanced approach.

One of them, David Whitmore, global engineering and technical director at a firm called Atkins, said: “This is a very impressive programme with a real balance of technical, leadership and life skills.”

Last week, we told how Hartlepool power station apprentices were getting to work on a Second World War submarine called HMS Alliance as part of their training at HMS Sultan.

Every year, EDF Energy’s apprentices spend time on the boat looking at how best to keep it maintained.

The time on the sub is part of the training course for the apprentices.

After spending time on HMS Alliance – where they draw up maintenance schedules, procedures and risk assessments – the group then presented their findings to members of the executive team along with managers from their base locations and also took them on guided tours of the sub.