Two of Heysham power station’s apprentices who changed careers to join EDF Energy have won top awards at the company’s end of year ceremony.
Josh Brooks won the year one ‘Apprentices’ Apprentice’ and Shane Slater the year two ‘Mechanical Apprentice of the year’. Both are mechanical apprentices at Heysham one power station.
Shane has returned to site for the final two years of the four-year programme and Josh returns to the training centre at HMS Sultan, near Portsmouth, for his second year in September.
Shane, 26, of Galgate, first trained as a panel beater and worked in garages for nearly seven years before applying to join the EDF Energy apprentice programme.
He said: “Like everywhere the garage business was struggling so it was the right time to look for a move.
“It was tough being that bit older than some of the others, but meant I could offer the odd bit of advice so it was fine in the end.
“I got married during the course and this made it more difficult as my wife was living in Lancaster. I had my wife’s full support throughout the course so this made it easier.
“To get the award was a shock, but a very nice one.”
Josh, 22, of Lancaster, was pursuing a career in graphic design and was into the first year of a course when he decided on a complete career change.
He took up a place at Lancaster and Morecambe College on the EDF Energy-sponsored access to engineering course.
He said: “The course helped me get back into the right frame of mind, studying such things as maths and fundamentals of engineering. I also spent time on station and this gave me relevant experience with regards to the work I will carry out in the future.
“It was a real shock to get the award, which was voted for by the other apprentices. I did try and support the other apprentices throughout and as I was charity representative this gave me more opportunities to get involved.
“I am now going back to HMS Sultan for my second year and I am looking forward to developing my mechanical skills.”
Heysham is the only site in the UK to have two operating nuclear power stations. Currently there are station tours taking place on Heyham 2 which last up to two hours. They include sights of the reactor viewing gallery, the turbine hall and the cooling water intake.
Last year the EDF Energy apprentice scheme took on approximately 70 apprentices for their four year programme.
The application process for Heysham’s apprentice intake for 2015 starts in November, full details on http://www.edfenergy.com/careers.