Stefany proves girls can be engineers too!

Mechanical maintenance apprentice Stefany Chisholm (24) from Dunbar.
Mechanical maintenance apprentice Stefany Chisholm (24) from Dunbar.

Stefany Chisholm does a job that is different to most girls her age.

The youngster from Dunbar is a mechanical maintenance apprentice at EDF Energy’s Torness nuclear power station.

As Scottish Apprenticeship Week gets underway EDF Energy is highlighting its support for the initiative.

Stefany, (24), is amongst 53 other apprentices in Scotland on the EDF Energy Engineering Maintenance Apprenticeship Scheme. It is a four-year programme which focuses on the skills required to maintain EDF’s eight nuclear, two coal and one combined cycle gas turbine power stations across the UK.

Stefany said: “I’ve always had a keen interest in engineering which can be put down to my brother and my dad. My brother had an engineering apprenticeship with a different company and my dad works offshore so I guess you could say it is in the blood!”

“I actually started at university and completed two years before realising it wasn’t for me.

“I worked for a few years then came across the apprenticeship programme at EDF Energy and the rest is history.

“I am about to go into my fourth year now and am loving every minute of it!”

The first two years of the programme are based at the Royal Naval base at HMS Sultan near Portsmouth, Hampshire.

During this time apprentices undergo training in academic and workshop environments to ensure they gain an excellent introduction to engineering and develop a strong skills foundation. Part of this also covers the development of life skills, like confidence and communication.

Alongside the rigorous engineering training and qualifications, the apprentices will enjoy world-class sports and leisure facilities. The programme also includes trips abroad to European nuclear power stations and a huge variety of activities available to them, including skydiving or learning foreign languages.

Torness apprentice co-ordinator Dominic Blyth said: “We’ve just recruited six new apprentices who will start with us in August this year. The scheme will open again for recruits later this year and I would encourage as many young people to apply as possible.”

The apprentices will spend four years in training to attain an Advanced Modern Apprenticeship Certificate in Engineering, a BTEC Level 3 (ONC equivalent) and also an NVQ Level 3.