All five apprentices outside EKGTA

ENERGY company Drax is kickstarting careers in engineering by extending its apprenticeship scheme across Scotland.

Drax has appointed the new apprentices as part of its commitment to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) education, ensuring its workforce in Scotland has the skills needed to support a post-COVID economic recovery. 

Mike Maudsley, Drax Group’s UK Portfolio Generation Director, said: “Meeting our apprentices is one of the highlights of my job – these are the young people with the enthusiasm and raw talent to deliver the cutting-edge technologies of the future.

“Through these apprenticeships, we aim to nurture that talent so they develop valuable skills – we want to have a workforce with the expertise that Drax, and Scotland, need to thrive, especially as we recover from the COVID-crisis.”

The budding engineers will join Drax at its Cruachan pumped storage hydropower station, in Argyll and Bute, Galloway hydropower scheme, Lanark hydropower scheme, and the Daldowie energy from waste plant, near Glasgow.

Ross Davie, aged 18, who has joined Drax’s Daldowie fuel from the waste plant as a technical apprentice, said: “It has been a very uncertain time for young people like me looking to start their careers over the last few months, because of COVID. To not only secure an engineering apprenticeship, but one based at Drax’s Daldowie plant is incredibly exciting.”

This is the second time Drax has invested in apprenticeships at its Scottish sites since it acquired them as part of a wider portfolio of flexible, low carbon and renewable assets at the start of last year. The continued investment in young people has been welcomed by the Scottish Government.

Jamie Hepburn, Skills Minister, said: “As we recover from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic it is vital that we continue to develop Scotland’s young workforce to equip people with the skills they need to succeed while meeting the emerging needs and opportunities of our employers and economy.

“Apprenticeships are not only valuable for our young people, they are a fantastic way for all employers to invest in their workforce and provide the skills the economy needs now and in the future.

“I am delighted that Drax continues to nurture new talent by appointing apprentices as part of its commitment to STEM skills and training. I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all those starting out in a new career the very best.”

Drax’s technical apprenticeship scheme gives new recruits the opportunity to gain skills and expertise by working alongside highly qualified engineers. It is a four-year programme, and specialises in three engineering disciplines: Mechanical, Electrical, and Control & Instrumentation.

This year’s apprentices at Drax’s Scottish sites are all aged 18 and live locally. They will start work at the Drax sites once they have completed formal training at East Kilbride Group Training Association (EKGTA).