An innovative scheme backed by Heysham power stations to help youngsters land prestigious engineering apprenticeships is being trialled at Lancaster and Morecambe College.
The new access to engineering course starts at the college in September and is partnership between EDF Energy and the college.
Two other schemes will be running at colleges in Bridgwater and Gloucester and if they prove successful the courses could become part of the colleges’ regular curriculum.
Kevin Demain, the stations’ apprentice training and recruitment co-ordinator said: “During the recent recruitment round for our own apprenticeship scheme we received 360 applications for 13 roles so there is a demand.
“This pilot scheme will give youngsters who may be very good technicians but perhaps don’t have the right academic qualifications a chance to get the qualifications they need to apply for an apprenticeship via a different but recognised route.
“And then they can apply to EDF Energy and any other firm which has an engineering apprentice scheme.”
The year-long course will take on 18 people, and give them a grounding in engineering, boost their maths and English skills but also, with support from Heysham power stations’ own team, offer them help with job applications and interview skills.
They will be taken to see the EDF Energy apprentice training facility at HMS Sultan, in Portsmouth, and get to meet senior managers from the stations who will be giving guest lecturers during the year
David Wood, Principal and Chief Executive of Lancaster & Morecambe College, which is already training 2000 apprentices, said: “We are delighted to be working with EDF Energy on this innovative employer-led programme.
“As a college we are constantly developing our offer to respond to the local job market; engineering is a growing sector locally and we are supporting young people from the area to access these new jobs.
“Working closely with employers such as EDF Energy means that the courses we develop are led by the industry and increase our students’ chance in a challenging job market.
“This new course is all about getting young people into work and supporting the local economy."
• For more info visit: www.lmc.ac.uk/home or call 0800306 306