APPRENTICE engineers have been honoured for their achievements at Drax Power Station’s annual awards.

Eighteen-year-old Kai Lewis, from Selby, won the Uniper Engineering Academy Apprentice of the Year Award and Max Shaw, 22, from Gateforth, near Selby, was named Maintenance Apprentice of the Year (Year 2).

Kai grew up near Drax and always knew he wanted a career in engineering and was curious about how the UK’s largest renewable power generator worked.

Having now completed two years of his apprenticeship as a technical engineer he is learning more about the role he and the other engineers play in maintaining the power station so it can continue to produce enough renewable electricity for four million households.

The former Snaith High School student said: “Changing Drax from a coal plant to one that could eventually be capturing carbon whilst generating power is a huge challenge that is really exciting to be a part of. Being at the forefront of that kind of innovation and learning new skills on the apprenticeship programme is a great opportunity and it’s great to be recognised for the work I’ve done with this award.”

Max, a Selby High School graduate and third year technical apprentice, hopes to further his engineering career once he completes his apprenticeship.

He said: “It means a lot to win this award – it shows that all the hard work I have put in throughout the year has paid off. I’m enjoying my apprenticeship - every day I am learning something new.”

Mike Maudsley, Drax’s UK Portfolio Generation Director, said: “Inspiring young people and supporting them in their early careers is essential for our business’ future. Each new cohort of apprentices brings enthusiasm and fresh ideas and we want to make sure we’re championing them.

“These awards come straight after Drax doubled the number of apprentices it hired in the space of just two years, reflecting our continued commitment to increasing education and skills across our region.”

Thomas Hughes, 27, from Goole, won the Business Apprentice of the Year Award 2019 and the Paul Chambers Outstanding Achievement Award of the Year. Josh O’Rourke was named Maintenance Apprentice of the Year (Year 4).

The awards were presented by BBC Look North’s Harry Gration with 34 existing and five graduating apprentices attending with their mentors and managers.