Oban apprentice wins top prizes at Cruachan power station

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A technical apprentice from Oban has won two top prizes at renewable energy company Drax’s annual awards event in recognition of his achievements over the past year.

Iain MacPherson, 19, from Oban, won Craft Apprentice of the Year as well as the Paul Chambers Overall Apprentice of the Year Award after being commended for his enthusiasm and work ethic in his role at Cruachan Power Station.

Iain received outstanding feedback from his colleagues who speak highly of his commitment, potential and ability and say he has become a valuable member of the team at Cruachan.

Iain, who is now entering the third year of his apprenticeship, said: ‘I’m extremely grateful to have received these awards and be recognised for the work I’ve put in over the past year.

‘I’d like to thank everyone who has helped and supported me throughout. I’m looking forward to the next year of my apprenticeship and the new challenges it brings.’

Covid restrictions meant this year’s awards were held virtually, but none of the glamour and excitement was missing as apprentices from across the Drax Group were recognised for their efforts overcoming the unprecedented challenges Covid-19 brought.

Karen McKeever, Drax chief human resources officer, who hosted the event, said: ‘Drax is committed to championing and supporting people in their early careers.

‘Hiring and developing a talented workforce of the future is essential for an innovative business like Drax.

‘Apprentices all have unique talents and bring a new perspective that we can learn from. It’s been inspiring to meet them all and celebrate their achievements.

‘The last couple of years have been challenging for us all due to Covid, but our apprentices have shown great flexibility, resilience and patience in continuing to approach their learning with enthusiasm and dedication.’

Drax’s long-running apprenticeship scheme is part of its commitment to developing new talent as well as upskilling the workforce across the communities where it operates.

Drax has 52 apprentices as well as 50 existing employees working towards apprenticeship qualifications at other career levels within the business.

Drax recently launched the next stage in its public consultation on its plans to more than double the generating capacity of its iconic ‘Hollow Mountain’ Cruachan Power Station in Argyll and Bute.

Under the plans, a second underground power station will be built adjacent to the existing one to enable Cruachan to play an even bigger role in supporting the expansion of renewable energy sources such as wind power and provide lifeline stability services to the national grid.

Around 900 jobs will be created and indirectly supported during the new power station’s construction.

NO_T1_Oban apprentice wins Drax award_01_Iain MacPherson

Iain MacPherson, 19, from Oban, won Craft Apprentice of the Year and the Paul Chambers Overall Apprentice of the Year Award for his work at Cruachan Power Station.