We spoke to Caroline Levitt, group director of procurement at Drax, about what it’s like to work there, exciting upcoming projects, and the plethora of career opportunities.
Caroline Levitt, group director of procurement, Drax
Tell us about Drax and the work you do
You might know Drax as the power station in Selby – it’s a landmark that many know and recognise. What a lot of people don’t know is that Drax operates across 38 locations with around 3,000 employees, is the second largest sustainable biomass producer globally, and the UK’s largest source of renewable power by output. We are progressing options for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).
What roles are you currently recruiting for and what do they involve?
We’re ‘refreshing’ the procurement approach and investing heavily in both our existing team and new capability. Our procurement team has an important role to play as Drax goes through its plan to be a carbon negative company by 2030. The team will develop commercial sourcing strategies to maximise value while ensuring the right level of governance and risk management. We have a variety of roles including pure procurement roles and important data and process focused roles.
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What kind of people are you looking for?
Aside from great technical procurement skills and an excellent track record of tangible results, we’re looking for individuals who thrive in a fast moving environment. You’ll be a fantastic communicator who builds and maintains relationships. We are transforming both as a team and as an organisation so you need to be comfortable with ambiguity, and processes and systems that are developing.
We’re open minded about the prior industries or companies you’ve worked in or the roles you’ve held. You just need to be able to transfer your skills and knowledge to be successful at Drax.
Why would someone want to work for Drax?
"I joined Drax back in 2018 because I always found the company to be at the forefront of the renewable energy agenda and wanted to set the bar in providing flexible, zero carbon, low cost energy. The company is dynamic and fast paced, which means that procurement is ever more important to build and foster relationships. The procurement team can become involved in lots of interesting projects and make a mark. It has an essential role in supporting the future growth of the company.
"The procurement team has undergone a real change and now is a great time to join. If you think you have what it takes, I strongly recommend coming along on our new journey and being able to develop your own growth and succeed in an exciting time!”
- Matthew Walker, head of procurement performance, Drax
What projects are you working on?
In 2023, we’ll continue our plans to build a new underground pumped hydro storage power station, Cruachan Expansion, more than doubling the electricity generating capacity there.
Drax Power Station, Selby. Photo credit: Jenny Twentyman, development engineer, civil engineering team, Drax
To support our plans to increase our biomass production capacity to eight million tonnes a year by 2030, we will advance our plans for the development of the Longview site in Washington State and expansion plans for Aliceville in Alabama.
In procurement we have a number of system changes planned that will consolidate our procure to pay (P2P) processes. We’re also working to develop a new supplier management framework that will improve our relationships with key suppliers and support our contract owners.
What opportunities for training and development are there?
We have restructured the team to enable clear routes for development through the new structure with core Drax competencies linked to career level. But there are also technical procurement competencies that the team can develop both via our fabulous internal learning and development resources and also via our affiliations with both CIPS and global not-for-profit association World CC.
Colleagues have the option to undertake CIPS qualifications, often via apprenticeships, which also provide the team with a route to further develop their procurement skills.
Sum up what it’s like to work for Drax
As you’d expect it’s both rewarding and challenging. We have a clear strategy to deliver our ambition which is to be carbon negative by 2030. I am incredibly proud of the team and what we’ve achieved so far and am excited to continue to support the business in delivering its strategy.
If you’re interested in working for a purpose-led company where everyone feels valued, on a winning team with a worthwhile mission, explore procurement career opportunities at Drax.
Apply for a procurement role at Drax