Horizon Nuclear Power’s first-ever intake of apprentices have now started as the company looks to develop local talent to support Wales’ most significant energy project in a generation.
The 10-strong team of apprentices, including eight Welsh speakers, have all been recruited from the local area and will be based at a new Horizon-funded workshop at Coleg Menai’s Bangor campus. Forming part of the wider Horizon team, they’ll spend the next four years getting to grips with what it means to work on a nuclear new build project.
In the first year they’ll work towards achieving a Level 2 NVQ in Performing Engineering Operations, along with a basic skills and knowledge introduction to the Nuclear Industry, before moving on to a BTEC Level 3 in the second year. Year three will broaden their practical experience further with specific and extensive on-the-job learning experience and qualifications chosen to match their specific technical route.
Greg Evans, Safety and Generation Director at Horizon, said, “We’re very proud of our first intake of apprentices, the first of around 700 apprenticeships that will have been created by the time Wylfa Newydd begins operating.”
“For us, this builds on the local people and companies already working on site and shows that Wylfa Newydd will unlock long term career opportunities as Horizon adapts to the construction and development requirements that lie ahead. While this is only our first intake, we’re serious about providing the investment and training necessary for local people to make the most of the opportunities we’ll create. Given the success of this programme, we’ll be opening applications for our next intake of apprentices in the coming months.”
The apprentices join five new Horizon graduates who are working across the Wylfa Newydd site office and at the company’s Gloucester Head Office. They’ll also be among the first to make use of Coleg Menai’s proposed new Engineering Centre in Llangefni, which recently received a £1m funding boost from Horizon.
Gr?p Llandrillo Menai Chief Executive, Dafydd Evans, said: “Gr?p Llandrillo Menai is delighted to be providing training for Horizon Nuclear Power’s apprentices. This is an example of how Gr?p Llandrillo Menai is working with companies such as Horizon to ensure that there are real opportunities for our local young people within the Ynys Ynni project.”
Tomos Lewis, one of the new Horizon apprentices, said: “The support we’ve received so far has been great and the new workshop gives us the space and equipment to be able to develop our engineering and construction knowledge. It’s a tough course we’ve been set, but we have direct access to Horizon’s expertise and understanding, as well as encouragement and training from Coleg Menai, so we’ve got the best possible start to our careers.”