Womens Engineering Society: Inspiring women as engineers, scientists and technical leaders

Victoria Brown

Victoria Brown

Maintenance Assistant Team Leader, EDF Energy, Dungeness B Power Station, Romney Marsh, Kent.

I chose a career in engineering in the nuclear industry because I have always had an interest iVictoria Brownn the power station that sits on our coast line.
After receiving my GCSE results I enrolled at college to work part-time towards a National Certificate in electrical and electronic engineering. I did this whilst waitressing at a local hotel and looking for an engineering apprenticeship. It was while I was studying that I saw the advert for apprentices in the newspaper and so filled in an application form.

My current role is Maintenance Assistant Team Leader, in the electrical team at Dungeness B Power Station in Kent, where I am responsible for the employees who maintain the electrical apparatus at the power station. I take responsibility for the safety, effectiveness, productivity and quality of work of the maintenance team that I supervise, undertaking the key responsibilities of a team leader during the team leader’s unavailability. This includes ensuring that the team carry out safe and reliable maintenance at all times. It is of utmost importance that the plant is maintained with full regard to site licence requirements, statutory requirements, company and location directives, procedures and safety rules. I take an active role in scheduling my team’s work. It is my responsibility to ensure that all work planned for my team is completed on time. I also help to arrange my team’s training. Continuing training is important to keep our maintenance technicians’ skills at a high level. After setting my team their objectives for the day I will often go out on plant to see them at work. I feel it is important for leaders to be in the field to encourage best behaviours and to reduce errors.

EDF Energy are looking for people with at least five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade C or above in Maths, English and at least two science subjects. You’ll also need a talent for practical subjects and have a real desire to learn and develop your skills. During my apprenticeship I worked towards a National Certificate and a Higher National Certificate in Electrical/Electronic Engineering. To work in the maintenance department through an apprenticeship you will be required to have focus, self motivation, a questioning attitude, good communication skills and the ability to develop yourself and others, as well as be good at building relationships and expressing leadership values. 

The thing that drives me to come to work everyday is the sense of belonging that you feel. Every role that I have undertaken has had so many links to the bigger part of the business, which makes you feel incredibly valued as an employee. I enjoy taking on new projects and learning something new every day, which is something that naturally comes with this line of business. I enjoy working with my team and with other departments and I enjoy seeing the results that we share. Every day is different and so prioritising work involves a lot of thinking on your feet to please all areas of the business. It also requires a lot of flexibility.

The nuclear industry is at a point of revolution, with new build projects planned for the near future. There are plenty of varied job opportunities for people to get involved in within the business and there is something new to learn every day. On top of all this I work for a low carbon industry which is safe and reliable and is contributing to reducing Britain's carbon footprint whilst sustaining the nation’s energy needs.

My advice to young people would be to look into the long term benefits of an apprenticeship and the career you can set yourself into.
An apprenticeship will give you skills for life and so commitment is important. You need to commit while you’re in school, making sure that you get the best grades that you can, so when you leave education you can choose the best way for you to enter the industry.
Good luck!

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