envirogy

Marketplace

  • Aquabio Movers & Shakers
    Aquabio

    Water treatment company raises funds for Sustrans cycling/walking charity

    A water re-use company has turned kilometres into pounds and donated funds to a charity which encourages people to walk and cycle.

  • ABB Air Quality
    ABB

    New ABB CEMS analyser offers all-in-one multiple measurement solution for combustion applications

    New multi-component analyser offers expanded all-in-one measurement capabilities for combustion gas stream monitoring

  • RWM 2017 Movers & Shakers
    RWM 2017

    Leading names share their sustainability solutions insights at RWM

    Speakers from M&S, WRAP, Adnams and The London Waste and Recycling Board will share their insights on future trends, policy and circular solutions. RWM brings together key industry stakeholders to discuss ways of unlocking sustainable wealth opportunities from the UK's resources. 

  • Eriez Waste Management
    Eriez

    All metals recovery with Eriez at RWM 2017

    Eriez will be showcasing their ECS module for complete ferrous and non-ferrous metals separation on stand 5P10-Q11 at the Recycling and Waste Management show taking place at the NEC, Birmingham from the 12th to 14th of September 2017.

v ecohouse button

web mossborough spud field copy

Wednesday, 09 December 2015 11:34

No university regrets for Mitch with his energy from waste apprenticeship

As Chancellor George Osborne used his Autumn Statement to announce a new apprenticeship levy to fund three million future apprenticeships, one Windsor teenager knows only too well the value of joining a training scheme instead of heading to university.

Eighteen-year-old Mitchell Redworth is an operations apprentice at the Lakeside Energy from Waste (EfW) facility at Colnbrook, near Slough.

He started his career in the power industry straight after leaving Windsor Boys School with three A levels and, in four years, should qualify with a BTec in mechanical engineering and an NVQ in Power Plant Operations Level 3.

"I had already been offered a place at Buckinghamshire New University to study product design but for me, university was more of a last resort in case I didn't get a good apprenticeship," said Mitch.

apprentice energy from waste"One of my teachers suggested applying for the Lakeside apprenticeship and the more I found out, the more it appealed.

"With changes in the environment, such as global warming, cleaner energy and recycling are going to become more important in the future. Knowing that I'm involved in that process and have a career ahead of me in the power industry made it a very attractive option."

He continued: "I'd certainly recommend an apprenticeship as a good career path. I'm already earning money, as opposed to my friends at university who are heading towards debt, and at the same time I'm getting practical, on-the-job experience which will stand me in good stead for the future."

The Lakeside Energy from Waste facility is a joint venture between Grundon Waste Management and Viridor, and Mitch says although he was aware of the plant, he had little idea what it did.

Since joining in August, he has spent three months in the fuel reception area and provided support during the annual maintenance shutdown. Mitch is now based on the operations desk, a role he hopes to continue as a process technician once he is fully qualified.

Using the latest technology, Lakeside processes residual waste, material which cannot be recycled or recovered, generating 37MW of electricity. When exported to the National Grid, this is enough to power approximately 50,000 homes, equivalent to the residential requirements of a town the size of Slough.

Lakeside already provides employment for around 50 local people and director of operations, Danny Coulston, says: "Every year we take on a new apprentice as we believe it's important to offer training opportunities for the next generation of power workers.

"It's not always easy to recruit apprentices into this sector as many young people prefer to go into technology, rather than manufacturing or industry. We asked local schools to put forward their candidates for interview and Mitch came out on top, so we were very happy to offer him an apprenticeship."

As part of his qualification, Mitch also studies at the E.ON Engineering Academy near Nottingham, which offers accredited modern apprenticeship programmes for the power sector. 

"There's a lot to understand in terms of the processes and documentation but everyone at Lakeside is very nice, friendly and helpful," he concluded. "There's a great team spirit and everyone supports everyone else, so it's a great place to work and hopefully I'll be here for a long time to come."

He says there is just one small downside to being an apprentice - when he meets up with his pals from university, he's the one buying the drinks!

LINKS
Lakeside Energy from Waste
Apprenticeships - gov.uk
E.ON Engineering Academy