STUDENTS from Hartlepool Sixth Form College have tasted life at Hartlepool power station as part of an innovative mentoring scheme.
A bid to encourage more students into the engineering industry has taken another step forward at the nuclear power plant.
Earlier this year, 16 students from the college were chosen to take part in the mentoring scheme, which saw them matched to engineers from the station.
Now, students have paid a visit to the plant to learn more.
Since the start of the scheme the students have worked with the mentors, have visited site and have been building up a picture of life on the station and the nuclear industry in general.
Brian Matthews, continuous improvement manager at Hartlepool power station, said: “This is the first mentor course of this type within EDF Energy, and we hope it will encourage local youngsters to return to the area and the engineering industry.
“Success for us will be for one or two of these students on our scheme to join the graduate scheme with EDF Energy after university and then walk through the gates at Hartlepool power station.”
Ella Bloomfield, a student at the college, said: “I’d like to continue studying science when I get to university. And I would really like a job within the nuclear industry.
“The mentor I have worked with has been really great, I will hopefully be spending a few days on site this summer to get an even greater insight about the power station.”
Kieran Smith said: “I have had so much support from the mentor, and their help will be even more important in the autumn as I apply to university. But these last few days have been really good as we have been looking at the reactor physics’ side of the work here.”
Ashleigh Bain said: “I enjoy chemistry and that is what I am studying at AS level. It has been good to get on to site to see the different jobs that people do here.”
The students will work with the mentors until June 2014, and the scheme may extend to other sixth forms in the town.
Susie Gatenby, nuclear safety engineer, has been one of the site’s mentors.
She said: “I have been pleasantly surprised by the commitment of the students who have been doing this mentoring scheme in addition to their studies.”