Sizewell B launches 2021 apprenticeships scheme

Beth Gant who began her career as an apprentice at Sizewell B Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Beth Gant who began her career as an apprentice at Sizewell B Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Students are being encouraged to apply for apprenticeships at Suffolk’s nuclear power station.

Rochelle Grimmer said: "Science doesn't just have to be a boys job." Picture: EDF ENERGY

Rochelle Grimmer said: "Science doesn't just have to be a boys job." Picture: EDF ENERGY - Credit: Archant

Details of the posts at Sizewell B are being outlined to youngsters at an online careers fair with those at Alde Valley Academy and West Suffolk College first through the virtual door.

This year’s apprentices programme offers apprenticeships in maintenance and engineering and a graduate apprenticeship in chemistry.

A mini filmed tour inside Sizewell B has been recorded with an existing apprentice to give would be applicants a taster for what their future could look like at the site, which is responsible for generating electricity for over 2.5m customers.

Robert Gunn, Sizewell B station director, said: “During both four-year apprenticeship courses the students will learn from our industry-leading experts and gain valuable experience, whilst they complete their qualifications. Its on-the-job training and the kind of practical experience that is second to none.”

Sizewell B statuion director Robert Gunn Picture: EDF ENERGY

Sizewell B statuion director Robert Gunn Picture: EDF ENERGY - Credit: Archant

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The chemistry apprentice will be awarded a BSc Degree in Chemistry after four years of training – split between university, on-site training and study – and will follow the Level 6 Laboratory ScientistApprenticeship Standard.

The power station is also offering four-year Engineering Maintenance Apprenticeships which focus on the skills needed to maintain the power station with the trainees spending two years at the National College for Nuclear, delivered through Bridgwater and Taunton College, where they receive an introduction to engineering and develop a strong skills foundation before two years spent at Sizewell B putting theory into practice.

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On completion, the students will be awarded a Maintenance and Operations Engineering Technician Apprenticeship Certificate, BTEC Level 3, with the potential for further education such as a HNC.

Beth Gant, who studied for her GCSEs at Westbourne Academy in Ipswich and went on to study maths, biology and politics A-Levels at Colchester Sixth Form College, is a former Sizewell apprentice. She travelled and worked in retail while thinking about what she wanted to do for a long term career. She said: “I knew I didn’t want to go to uni after my A-Levels so took the time to think about what I wanted to do next. I liked the idea of hands on learning so began to look into local apprenticeships.”

Rochelle Grimmer also joined the apprenticeship scheme – after a work experience at the powerplant at the age of 13 left a lasting impression and shaped her decision to study science A-levels and ultimately to apply for an apprenticeship in Chemistry at Sizewell B.

She said: “The apprenticeship provided me with on-the-job training in Chemistry but also involved studying for a HNC with Greenwich University.”

She is is now a fully qualified chemistry technician having completed the two-year apprenticeship programme. She’s also keen to encourage more girls to think about a career in the energy sector and has been an ambassador for the company at career fairs. “Science doesn’t just have to be a boys job,” she says.

What students need to apply

Chemistry Graduate Apprenticeship

104 UCAS points - ideally three A-Levels (at grade C or above), including maths and chemistry or a relevant Level 3 qualification, such as a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma with a strong mathematical element 5 GCSE’s Grade 4 or above including English, Maths and a Science Subject.

Maintenance and Engineering Apprenticeship

Five GCSEs at Grade C or above (or Grade 4 and above in the new GCSE grading structure), National 5s or equivalent, including Maths, English and 2 of either Science, Technical or Engineering subjects

Applications are open until – 6 January 2021. For more information and to apply, visit

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