Women power towards apprentice posts in Hartlepool

Last year's apprentices at Hartlepool power station.
Last year's apprentices at Hartlepool power station.

More females than ever are applying for positions on the apprentice scheme at Hartlepool power station.

And bosses at EDF Energy are hoping the trend continues.

We are heading in the right direction and I am very proud of the work we are carrying out here at site and at the company level to show that there are roles for everyone here and indeed across our company

Craig Dohring

Interviews are due to take place at Hartlepool as part of the 2017 apprentice application process. This year, across the whole of the EDF Energy generation fleet, 11% of applications were from females - higher than in 2016.

Locally, Hartlepool has launched a number of initiatives to show girls that there is a place for them on site.

It has also linked in with the company’s Pretty Curious campaign to run a series female-only workshops at the Visitor Centre.

Craig Dohring, station director at Hartlepool power station, said: “We are heading in the right direction and I am very proud of the work we are carrying out here at site and at the company level to show that there are roles for everyone here and indeed across our company.

“But we know that many young girls do not keep going with their science and maths studies and so by having events at the Visitor Centre, as well as running our mentoring scheme, we hope to show them that they too can pursue a career in engineering.

“Our goal is hoping to increase the number of women we recruit onto our STEM apprenticeships to 30% by 2018.”

Hartlepool has taken on 67 apprentices since 2007 and many have gone on to become team leaders and qualified engineers.

Nicola Spindloe, apprentice co-ordinator at Hartlepool power station, is now starting to interview those applicants who have passed the assessment part of the process. The final group of six will be chosen after Easter and will join the company in late summer.

They will spend the first two years of the training scheme at HMS Sultan, near Portsmouth, before returning to site for the final two years.

Oliver Kerr, 19, a third-year apprentice, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my two years training at Portsmouth and made some great friends with apprentices from other stations.

“Now I am back on site I am working towards completing my level 3 NVQ in Engineering Maintenance this June. I have also been given a great opportunity to complete a HNC in control and instrumentation and I am looking forward to completing my first year.

“I have also attending careers fairs, schools and colleges and enjoy meeting future apprentices who may be lucky enough to take the same career path as me.

“The support I receive from the technicians at the station provide me with a wealth of experience and knowledge and their time is invaluable to my development and future career at the station.”