We are now recruiting for our 2022 intake of Bursary Students

Do you want to help fuel the world? Do you want to be part of a team advancing the future of energy through innovation whilst addressing global climate change risks and protecting the communities where you work and live? Then a bursary at Valero Pembroke Refinery is a great place to start.

To meet the growing demand for engineers we are providing scholarships to Pembrokeshire students intending to study Chemical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering at a UK University.

The Bursary Scheme benefits include:

• £3,000 per academic year

• Paid employment during summer holidays and ‘Year in Industry’ placement

• Mentoring contact at Valero

Students will be assigned to a Business Unit and will be expected to work at the Refinery during their industrial placement year.

After graduation, students will be entered into the graduate recruitment selection process.

To apply, send a detailed electronic CV and a copy of your University Personal Statement to pembrokehr@valero.com


Western Telegraph: Fran James, Senior HES EngineerFran James, Senior HES Engineer

Fran James, Senior HES Engineer said:"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." (Helen Keller) It felt like that for me at 19 applying for an apprenticeship in an industry I knew little about. Almost 19 years on and I’m still enjoying the adventure.Unsure what to do after sixth form and not wanting the debt incurred at university, I choose to look for other opportunities.

Spotting the ad for apprenticeships at what was then the Chevron refinery, I knew I had nothing to lose.As an instrument Technician I enjoyed the challenge of fault finding and the satisfaction of knowing that by repairing the equipment I was helping to maintain production.I now work as a process Safety Engineer at the Refinery and although my role has changed the foundations the apprenticeship provided led me to further my education and gave me the opportunity to shape a career that at 19 I didn’t know existed”

Western Telegraph: Jessica Journeaux, Second Year Apprentice at ValeroJessica Journeaux, Second Year Apprentice at Valero

Jessica Journeaux, Second Year Apprentice at Valero, said:  "I love Pembrokeshire, but after graduating in Design in 2015 I struggled getting a career and ended up working different retail jobs. The second time I was made redundant was the final push for me to make the change and pursue a career in engineering. Valero offered hope of a job where I could better myself and my life. On my third year applying, after working harder and becoming more determined to succeed, I finally made it. 

I was worried going into an apprenticeship in my mid 20’s that I would fall behind academically after being out of practice, but instead I have discovered new skills I have and new things I am good at. The first year is going well, I enjoy learning new things and developing my skills. I am looking forward to qualifying and feeling proud of myself for achieving my goal of becoming and engineer." 

Western Telegraph: Penny John, former apprentice and now Shift Team LeaderPenny John, former apprentice and now Shift Team Leader

Penny John, Apprentice and now Shift Team Leader: "Just over 10.5 years ago, I was working two jobs, both full time hours, and neither of them related to the industry I now work in. I'd always had a keen interest in science at school, but life led me down a different path. I read about the apprenticeship and thought maybe next year but thanks to some encouragement from my now husband, I applied at the age of 25. Surprisingly, I wasn't the oldest on the course!! I loved the apprenticeship - learning and earning at the same time. Experiential learning works for me.

The course gives you an appreciation of how every trade works together to make the refinery work - I even got to try welding, definitely not my forte! After the apprenticeship, I was taken on as a technician in the blending and shipping area, as a berth operator. The first time I berthed a crude ship with over 1 million barrels of oil on board, my heart was in my mouth! 

The best part of working at the refinery for me, is that no two days is the same. After working in the tank farm & road tanker wagon loading area, I became a shift team leader, nine years after starting the apprenticeship. I work 12 days in a 28 day rotation which leaves time for family life, self- development etc. but as shift worker you have to expect to work weekends, bank holidays etc. For me, the apprenticeship changed my life. I have no doubt I would probably still be working 80+ hours a week had I not taken the plunge. "You cannot always wait for the perfect time, sometimes you must dare to jump.

Western Telegraph: Imogen Reynolds, Operator at Valero Refinery PembrokeImogen Reynolds, Operator at Valero Refinery Pembroke

Imogen Reynolds, Operator at Valero Refinery Pembroke, said: “Through completing the apprenticeship program I have be able to develop skills and knowledge, which has helped me gain a role as a process operator at Valero Pembroke. Learning in a classroom then putting it into practical application has always been my best way of learning. The last 3 years of the apprenticeship has helped me get to where I am, so I would 100% recommend doing it. Having completed my apprenticeship in 2020, I am now an Operator and the role continues to give me many opportunities to carry on developing, each shift is different and you are always learning new skills. "