Submarine lets power station recruits learn engineering the 1940s way

EDF Energy Submarine Project 2015'EDF apprentices and staff from Hartlepool Power Station at Royal Navy Submarine museum in Gosport Hampshire where they completed a three week project onboard WWII  sub HMS Alliance.''Picture: Steve Reid Blitz Photography
EDF Energy Submarine Project 2015'EDF apprentices and staff from Hartlepool Power Station at Royal Navy Submarine museum in Gosport Hampshire where they completed a three week project onboard WWII sub HMS Alliance.''Picture: Steve Reid Blitz Photography

HARTLEPOOL power station apprentices have been learning about engineering the 1940s way.

The newest recruits in EDF Energy faced engineering challenges from more than 70 years ago when they took over the maintenance of HMS Alliance, which was a Second World War submarine.

HMS Alliance is based at the Submarine Museum in Gosport.

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 who spend two years at the Babcock Engineering Academy, within HMS Sultan, which is a Royal Navy military base also in Gosport.

Once they finish the course, they return to Hartlepool to complete their apprenticeship.

Ian Williams, EDF Energy’s apprentice manager based at HMS Sultan, said: “We have strong links with HMS Alliance stretching back many years.

“The apprentices spend time on the submarine and get a chance to use their newly-acquired skills, tracing systems and researching how they worked on this historic vessel, which includes interviewing ex sub-mariners.

“It is interesting for them to see how people lived in and looked after such a vessel 70 years ago in very cramped conditions in an era where environmental considerations were not perhaps not number one on their agenda.”

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.

Simon Parsons, the station director at Hartlepool power station, was full of praise at how his team was doing. He said: “It is good to see how well the apprentices are doing at HMS Sultan, and to see their obvious enthusiasm at tackling the maintenance of a 70-year-old submarine.

“Our apprentices are given a great opportunity while at HMS Sultan and when they return to Hartlepool for the final two years of their training they are mature and responsible people ready to join the station team.”

The programme to recruit apprentices starts in autumn with 60 new recruits chosen from across the country.