FEMALE students from across the area were treated to a VIP day at Heysham power stations as part an EDF Energy campaign to encourage more young women to consider a career in science and engineering.

The 24 students met staff from Heysham Power Stations, including apprentices and also Gwen Parry-Jones, the former Heysham 1 station director who now has a key role in the future of EDF Energy as Generation Development Director.


During the day the group took part in a series of engineering challenges and was also taken on a behind the scenes tour of Heysham 2 power station.

Gwen told those at the ‘Young Women in Engineering’ event that she had been in the industry for around 30 years, starting as an engineer at Wylfa power station.

She said: “It is absolutely brilliant that you have come here today to see what we have to offer – because we need more young women like you in our industry.

“I was one of the first women to operate a nuclear reactor which when you turn it on has the same power as a space shuttle taking off so that role came with great responsibility.”

Richard Bradfield, station director at Heysham 1 power station, encouraged those at the workshop to apply for places on the sites’ apprentices or graduate schemes.

He told the group that at Heysham 1 he had four female members of his 14-strong senior management team, which was good but that he wanted to see more young women joining EDF Energy.

Richard said: “We are missing out on a lot of talent. You can be the engineers of the future, and the future leaders within our industry.”

Lydia Maun, 17, of Our Lady’s Catholic College, said: “I was thinking about applying but after today I will definitely be applying. I am studying maths and science and so it would be great to be able use those as part of my career.”

Jessica Shatford, 17, of Ripley St Thomas’s Academy, said: “I did apply last year and will be applying again this year. I love practical things and so I want to be a mechanical engineer. Today was great it was a chance to be around people who are interested in the same thing.”