Team building for Hartlepool’s nuclear apprentices

GETTING TO KNOW YOU: EDF apprentices Oliver Kerr, Jonathan Grundy, Sophie Palmer, Lee McGuire, James Hogan, and Gary Pearson
GETTING TO KNOW YOU: EDF apprentices Oliver Kerr, Jonathan Grundy, Sophie Palmer, Lee McGuire, James Hogan, and Gary Pearson

A TALENTED group of new apprentices have been getting to know each other before they start their careers with an energy giants.

Hartlepool power station has a strong local recruitment record, and most of its 750 workforce live in the area.

The town’s nuclear plant, and others in the EDF Energy group, draw most of their new apprentices from schools near the site.

The latest group of six apprentices from Hartlepool were appointed during the summer, and kicked off their new careers with a team-building week in the Lake District. They joined up with the company’s 53 other apprentices who are linked to other nuclear sites.

The Lakes’ week was the culmination of a gruelling recruitment process which started last autumn when hundreds of applications came in for the positions. After tests and interviews the apprentices were finally chosen to join Hartlepool’s team.

Nicola Spindloe, apprentice training co-ordinator, said: “The quality of applications was very high and so that means the quality of our apprentices will also be very high.”

After the final six were chosen, the apprentices and their families were taken to see HMS Sultan – the Portsmouth-based training facility were the apprentices will spend their first two years,

“Many of our apprentices come from the local schools and it’s important for us to ensure the parents are comfortable with the set-up at HMS Sultan, and so we take them to see the site first hand,” Nicola said

Away from the classroom the apprentices will enjoy excellent sports and leisure facilities under the watchful eye of the centre’s own team.

EDF Energy’s apprentices also undertake an extensive life skills package along with some cultural visits to European cities.

Nicola added: “The life skills part of the scheme is very important to us, and after that initial two years away we end up with some very mature individuals.”

After that time, the apprentices return to Hartlepool to complete their apprenticeship on site.

Nicola said: “As a kick start to the apprenticeship, we take all of EDF Energy’s first year apprentices to the Lake District for a team-building week, and this works well as this group will be spending the next two years together.”