1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
This apprenticeship gives me qualifications to become an maintenance technician on a nuclear power station. There are different disciplines the apprenticeship leads into, mechanical, electrical, and control & instrumentation. The first two years are spent in college in Somerset, while coming back onto the power station to do some work over easter and summer. Years 3 & 4 add spent on station learning from experienced technicians and some people go on day release to a local college to get a HNC qualification.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
In the college, we have done practical based activities in the workshop and learnt specific skills for that, as well as learnt soft skills such as teamwork and leadership skills when in the classroom. EDF take their apprentices on ‘life skills’ trips, sometimes abroad that we plan ourselves. These include some nuclear/engineering specific visits as well as some for team building and some for enjoyment.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I’ve made a lot of good mates on this apprenticeship, and go into work with a good bunch of people every day. There are aspects of the qualification that can be hard work and I couldn’t say I enjoyed sitting an exam, but the majority is good and I would say I am definitely enjoying the course.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
This apprenticeship has run for a number of years at EDF and it is well established and has been refined over the years. Being the first year to swap to a new training provider has lead to some problems with organisation but that is purely on the college’s end and not EDF’s. These are being worked on to be fixed.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Loads. From my power station we have a coordinator who is on site when we are who we can see with any problems or concerns we have. They will also come visit us when we are in college in Somerset. When I’m college, there is a different EDF employee who’s job it is to look after us down there and ensure things are running smoothly and they are our EDF contact when in college. So with the training provider and on station we have contact to EDF employees who’s job it is to make sure the apprenticeship runs smoothly.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Having recently swapped training providers, there are issues currently being sorted. But the college does do their best to help us achieve our qualifications and we are currently on track to do so. Despite currently being understaffed, this should be sorted for the next year’s intake. And each person working in the college does their best to help us.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The college starts from scratch with engineering and builds up a foundation of basic engineering. The qualification does cover some more specialised skills we need to have. However a majority of specific tasks and skills are learnt in the 3rd and 4th year of the apprenticeship.
The training provider does give us training on skills not necessary for the qualification but important for being on site.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
EDF do organise trips for us, some abroad and some more local. These are mainly for educational purposes but there is a lot of social activities that happen too. We all stay in accommodation together, and organise trips ourselves to neighbouring cities and outdoor activity. EDF support is if we want to make a sports team, and currently pay for each of us to have s gym membership.
9a. Would you recommend EDF Energy to a friend?
It is a great apprenticeship. They look after us extremely well. A lot of care and attention is given to the apprentices, and a significant number of people high up in the business started out as apprentices. You get the skills and qualifications to move around a lot more in the company. The pay in the latter years and when qualifying is good too.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to EDF Energy?
It is very useful to live local to the power station. Prove you’re hardworking and have an interest in engineering. Being in the nuclear sector is different to any other sector so ensure you have the right characteristics. Work experience is very useful and good social skills goes a long way.
More from EDF EnergyMore Reviews Company Profile
Get personalised jobs straight to your inbox
Save time job hunting - get tailored job opportunities sent straight to you!