NINE wind turbine apprentices started their training at Coleg Llandrillo this month.
They will be studying at the collage’s specialist renewable energy centre joining the six apprentices starting their second year.
Five of the new trainee technicians are RWE npower apprentices and the remaining four are from ISOFab, a mechanical engineering contractor based in Treherbert in the Rhondda.
Two of the new recruits, Mike Thomas, from Denbigh, and Darren McCarthy from Llandudno, are former Coleg Llandrillo Electrical Engineering students.
Darren said: “This is a very exciting day and I am looking forward to the journey ahead.
“I heard about the apprentice scheme last year when I was on the electrical course. I never dreamed that I would be successful out of the hundreds of applicants, but hopefully I can eventually secure a job for life after my training.”
First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, officially launched the country’s first wind turbine technician apprenticeship programme and dedicated training centre in
December 2012 at Coleg Llandrillo’s Rhos-on-Sea campus.
A new apprenticeship scheme for the renewables sector was launched in May 2012 and RWE npower renewables launched the scheme for the first time in Wales at the Renewables UK Cymru Conference in Cardiff.
Each RWE npower apprentice will complete a three-year course, with the aim of moving into a full-time engineering post with RWE npower.
The first two years of training will be at Coleg Llandrillo and the final year will be with RWE npower, on site. Each year, as well as the training, the apprentices will receive a salary.
Recruits will work on some of the company’s largest flagship projects onshore and offshore in Wales – including Gwynt y Môr, one of the largest offshore wind farms in construction in Europe.
Rachel Disney, UK HR manager for RWE npower renewables, said: “Looking at the demographic of engineers working within the industry, it quickly became very clear to us that there was an opportunity to look to attract more, younger and locally-based engineers to work on our wind farms.
“These projects have a significant 20-year lifespan, and so the skills that apprentices learn can be applied over the long term, and will be at the cutting edge of engineering skills for the future.”
RWE npower renewables has submitted plans to build a 32 windfarm in Clocaenog Forest, which is now in the examination process.
The examining authority inspectorate, Wendy Burden, has six months to gather information and another three months to write a report recommending the minister to approve or refuse.
The minister should decide by October 2014.
For more information on wind turbine apprenticeships at Coleg Llandrillo, contact the College’s Learner Services team on 01492 542338.