Tomorrow’s Engineers: Hartlepool power station hosts search for future industry stars

Libby Smith (Dyke House Sports and Technology College) Kelly Britton (Tees Valley Unlimited) and Kate Welford (4th year apprentice Hartlepool Power Station) taking part in a engineers day. Picture by FRANK REID
Libby Smith (Dyke House Sports and Technology College) Kelly Britton (Tees Valley Unlimited) and Kate Welford (4th year apprentice Hartlepool Power Station) taking part in a engineers day. Picture by FRANK REID

The search is on for the future stars of industry.

An event called Tomorrow’s Engineers was held at Hartlepool’s power station.

Libby Smith (Dyke House Sports and Technology College) Kelly Britton (Tees Valley Unlimited) and Kate Welford (4th year apprentice Hartlepool Power Station) taking part in a engineers day. Picture by FRANK REID

Libby Smith (Dyke House Sports and Technology College) Kelly Britton (Tees Valley Unlimited) and Kate Welford (4th year apprentice Hartlepool Power Station) taking part in a engineers day. Picture by FRANK REID

It was a chance for 60 girls to find out how they could become the next generation of engineering talent.

Station director Simon Parsons hope the event would persuade females to take up a career in the industry.

Tomorrow’s Engineers was specifically for teenage girls, and was supported by Tees Valley Unlimited, Engineering UK and Teesmouth Field Centre.

Around 60 pupils from six secondary schoolsgot to meet some of the stations’ female engineers who talked about their careers on site and also their educational experiences.

Sarah Carling (rear) (EDF electrical apprentice) and Emma White (High Tunstall College of Science) taking part in a engineers day. Picture by FRANK REID

Sarah Carling (rear) (EDF electrical apprentice) and Emma White (High Tunstall College of Science) taking part in a engineers day. Picture by FRANK REID

Heather Barton, who is Hartlepool power station’s continuous improvement manager, chaired the event and is also working closely with Tees Valley Unlimited to look at ways of encouraging more females to see engineering as a potential career.

She said it was vital to show young females that there are opportunities at the station as well as with EDF Energy’s other sites and with engineering companies across the UK.

Heather added: “We have just opened our apprentice recruitment drive for 2016 and we hope that many more young females will apply to join us at Hartlepool and at the other EDF Energy sites.”

The schools which took part in Tomorrow’s Engineers were High Tunstall College of Science, Dyke House College, St Hilds, Nunthorpe Academy, Redhouse and North Shore Academy and studnets were taken around the power station.

Members of Teesmouth Field Centre also took the groups to Seaton Carew to run some science experiments around the effects of sea level rises.

Mr Parsons said: “EDF Energy carried out some research recently that showed that around a third of teenage girls didn’t think they were smart enough to become a scientist and that’s despite science being one of the subjects they enjoyed most.

“A career in engineering is for anyone who is interested in how things work and who enjoys working creatively in a team to overcome a challenge.”

The apprentice recruitment programme for 2016 is now open through the EDF Energy website.