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EDF Energy - Building the Pipeline

An employer of apprentices for over 20 years, EDF Energy currently operates 5 apprenticeship schemes. The largest of these is the Engineering Maintenance Apprenticeship (EMA), which provides the skills, attitudes and behaviours required to safely operate and maintain our power stations.

Increasing gender diversity throughout the pipeline has been a key area of focus. Many highly skilled female apprentices have joined our schemes in recent years, and we are keen to build this pool of talent.

Stefany Chisholm, EMA Apprentice, talks about what inspired her:

“My grandfather was my biggest role model, everything he came up against in life he overcame, and he instilled in me the same steely determination. He made me realise that there was no reason that being a girl should stop me being an engineer, and it gave me the extra confidence I needed when I started my apprenticeship.”

What we did.

We’ve made great in-roads to increase female applications within our apprenticeship campaigns. Targeted activity has included:

  • Holding ‘Your Life Best School Trip’ events in conjunction with Women in Nuclear.
  • Showcasing female apprenticeships within EDF Energy, through case studies and imagery that celebrates their success.
  • Upskilling assessors so they understand unconscious bias and are more confident in their selection decisions.
  • Development of a new interview question bank in conjunction with BITC.

What we learned.

The actions have resulted in an up-lift in the number of female applicants to our apprenticeship programmes. At each stage of the recruitment process we have experienced an increased volume of female participation in comparison to previous years. We’re proud to have increased female hires from 8% in 2015 to 21% in 2016 a great success that can be built on in the future.

What we would do differently as a result.

We want to do more. Having a better diversity across our engineering candidates will help our business now and in the future. In 2017 we’re aiming for 30% female hires onto the Maintenance Engineering Scheme. We know our employees make great advocates for careers at EDF Energy so we’ll be raising the profile of the schemes and target getting more female referrals from friends and family.

We’ve developed a targeted work experience/insight programme for female students, to encourage them to choose engineering as a career and to select an apprenticeship. We will also manage talent pools across our early careers recruitment activity to keep in touch with students, with a view to them securing employment with EDF Energy (or in the wider engineering industry).

For more about EDF Energy’s apprenticeship schemes and other early career opportunities, please go to

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