Horizon apprentices explore new horizons in Japan

Horizon apprentices in Japan
Horizon apprentices in Japan

Horizon Nuclear Power’s ten apprentices arrived back on Anglesey recently after a fortnight of work experience in Japan hosted by Hitachi-GE.

The trip was an opportunity for the apprentices, who started with Horizon in September 2016, to meet and work alongside Hitachi apprentices, to learn more about Hitachi’s manufacturing approaches, and get an insight into Japanese culture.

The apprentices had a busy itinerary, taking them from Tokyo to Hitachi City and covering everything from Kendo lessons with fellow Japanese apprentices to visiting Hitachi’s Kaigan Factory, where the company has been manufacturing steam turbines for almost 100 years. They also visited Shimane Nuclear Power Station near Matsue, where Hitachi’s Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) technology is being constructed at Shimane, unit 3.

The fortnight was rounded off with a visit to the British Embassy where they met the British Ambassador to Japan, Paul Madden, and presented him with a mounted core sample from ground where Wylfa Newydd will be built.

Luke Williams, one of Horizon’s apprentices, said: “We had a fantastic time. We knew it was going to be a new experience, but weren’t expecting to learn so much. Hitachi is a huge company with an incredible history, so we’re lucky to have had so much insight into what they do.

“It was a busy fortnight, but the highlight for me was visiting Hitachi City, where important components for Wylfa Newydd will be made, and meeting other apprentices; it really helped me understand how much value apprentices can bring to the future of projects like Shimane 3 in Japan and Wylfa Newydd here in Wales.”

Greg Evans, Wylfa Newydd’s Operations Director, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the apprentices. They’ve worked so hard this past year and their progress has been very impressive. They went to Japan not only representing Horizon, but all young people in North Wales and we couldn’t have sent a better group.

“Our apprenticeship scheme continues to go from strength-to-strength and I know the next cohort – due to start in September this year – will look to our 2016 intake and learn from their experiences.”

Horizon Nuclear Power has recently completed recruitment of the second intake of apprentices who will be joining the programme in September 2017.