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School benefits from station link-up

07:19 20 January 2007

STUDENTS at a Suffolk high school have formed a partnership with a power station to gain access to engineering training and equipment.

Leiston High School is benefiting from a £10,000 grant and access for GCSE students to mechanical engineers and workshops at the Sizewell B nuclear power station, courtesy of British Energy.

STUDENTS at a Suffolk high school have formed a partnership with a power station to gain access to engineering training and equipment.

Leiston High School is benefiting from a £10,000 grant and access for GCSE students to mechanical engineers and workshops at the Sizewell B nuclear power station, courtesy of British Energy.

Ian Flintoff, headteacher, said: “This scheme enables our students to work with professional engineers, to use cutting edge training facilities and to learn the skills they need to take up a career in the engineering field if they choose to do so.

“Leiston High School has recently become one of only a few specialist vocational schools in the country. This means that we are committed to offer our students genuine work related learning opportunities in partnership with quality employers such as British Energy.”

The 21 students, 18 male and three female, were shown around the maintenance workshops at Sizewell B and given their own overalls, safety boots and helmets.

Brian Dowds , station director of the UK's only pressurised water reactor, said the scheme was an excellent way to promote British Energy's four-year apprenticeship schemes and graduate positions.

“We see this as a great opportunity both to assist in the development of young people in the local community, and to encourage people back into our industries,” he said.

The partnership will see the students given supervised visits to the station's workshops giving them first-hand experience of an industrial work place.

The students are already working on a task to research and design ideas for a product that could potentially be used by one of the monitoring teams at Sizewell B.

They will individually present their ideas and findings to Sizewell B engineers who will offer feedback and an assessment.

As part of the scheme the students also created their own crest to be displayed on the course members T-shirts and website.

The website is being up-dated weekly as a revision tool and to allow students who miss work to easily catch-up. The website can be found at www.lhsengineering.ik.org.

British Energy is the UK's largest electricity generator employing over 5,800 people and generating up to 20% of the country's electricity needs.

Sizewell B employs about 700 full-time and contract staff. They include 19 apprentices going through a four-year training programme.

david.green@eadt.co.uk

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