Torness makes girl power as new intake of apprentices is welcomed

Touring Torness (left to right) apprentice co-ordinator Dominic Blythe, Daniel Martin, Daniel Ward, Laura Anderson (front), Josh Logan, Stefany Chisholm, Arran Douglas and maintenance manager Ronnie Yule
Touring Torness (left to right) apprentice co-ordinator Dominic Blythe, Daniel Martin, Daniel Ward, Laura Anderson (front), Josh Logan, Stefany Chisholm, Arran Douglas and maintenance manager Ronnie Yule

Torness power station has welcomed its new intake of apprentices, which for the first time includes two girls.

The seven 2012 apprentices and their family members had a site tour and information session at Torness recently. Station director Paul Winkle told them about how the station operates and what life is like as an EDF Energy apprentice. Many of Paul’s senior management team started their nuclear careers as apprentices, before working their way up through the ranks.

Towards the end of June, the station will send the apprentices and their parents down to visit HMS Sultan - a world-class training centre in Portsmouth - and HMS Collingwood. Once there, they will get a tour of the bases and see where they will be living and training.

Then, in September the Torness apprentices will join apprentices from all of EDF Energy’s nuclear sites back at HMS Sultan. They will be located there for the first two years of the four-year scheme, and will return to complete their training on-site for the final two years.

Dominic Blythe, apprentice training co-ordinator, said: “I am delighted to say this is the fifth group that we are sending down to HMS Sultan. The feedback we consistently get from apprentices is very, very positive.”

Earlier this year the recruitment process started with Torness receiving 311 applications – a rise of more than 230% on 2011.

Torness’ latest apprentices, who come from the local area, will tackle engineering training and also life skills at HMS Sultan. Away from the classroom the apprentices will enjoy excellent sports and leisure facilities under the watchful eye of the centre’s own team.

Dominic said: “As well as providing the best in engineering training it is just as important to make sure that the evenings and weekends are also planned to a degree as for the majority of the apprentices it will be their first time away from home.”

Paul Winkle said: “For me, the day was a great success and the feedback I received from the parents was all very encouraging. It left everyone with the feeling of a very professional organisation and I am sure we have secured the trust of the parents who are just about to wave their children off to Portsmouth.

“At EDF Energy we are keen to encourage women to consider careers in engineering, so I am delighted that for the first time ever, we are welcoming two girls on to our apprenticeship scheme.

“We embrace diversity here at Torness and hopefully this will send out a message that you don’t have to be a man to work in a technical role in the nuclear industry.”