Meet the contractor: HPC Jobs Service
As its name suggests, the Hinkley Point C (HPC) Jobs Service helps people into work on the project. We spoke to Tom Dancey, HPC Jobs Service’s Talent Pool Specialist, to find out how to get the most out of this free service.
Q. Tell me more about the HPC Jobs Service
A. Since launch, we’ve filled more than 1,100 jobs on the project*. Our role is to support the Hinkley Point C project and help contractors on site find workers. So we’ll advertise their job vacancies, and shortlist applicants for them – all for free. We also support the local supply chain, so we’ll promote vacancies for local businesses to our database too.
The other thing to mention is that we support the workforce with finding new employment when their existing role on the project comes to an end, focusing on employment opportunities in the local area. So pre-Covid, we ran sessions with Jobcentreplus to tell people about the project, offer insight on the roles available, and support individuals with information, advice and guidance – including how to keep their CVs up to date.
Q. How does the Jobs Service specifically support young people?
A. Anyone over the age of 16 can register with the Jobs Service – and we’d encourage them to register with Young HPC too, if they’re not already a member. For anyone under the age of 16, we recommend they ask someone older to register on their behalf (a parent or carer). This way, they can keep up to date with what’s going on at HPC, and then sign up independently when they turn 16.
There are two ways you can use the HPC Jobs Service:
- To apply for a job or apprenticeship that you’re interested in on the project.
- As a careers tool – For instance, if you have an aspiration to be a mechanical engineer, you can look at what contractors are looking for (e.g. qualifications and experience) so you know what you need to work towards.
Q. What type of jobs do you advertise?
A. Anything from an entry-level position to a senior role. On average, we advertise about 50 jobs a month. The nice thing is that there are so many different positions – and at different levels. We probably have the most varied job board you’ll ever come across – with roles available in everything from housekeeping and catering; to nuclear operations and event management!
They’re not always in areas you’d expect either. For instance, we recently promoted two roles with a local garden landscaping company. HPC offers so much potential for the local area, as there’s a wider opportunity beyond the project with local businesses benefitting from contracts too.
We’re also seeing the job vacancies evolve, as the project develops. So at the start of the project, the jobs were for bus drivers, catering staff and those providing supporting services – as well as those delivering the groundworks and construction. Now we’re seeing more electrical engineering and mechanical engineering opportunities – as we enter the MEH phase of the build. But alongside this, we always have a need for supporting operations – like security, transport and catering.
Q. How has the Covid-19 pandemic changed the level of support you offer or your service?
A. It has massively changed the way we work, as before we were very much face to face: running sessions in local community centres, attending recruitment events or working with our partners, like the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
But we’ve adapted how we deliver our services. So we always had a phone line service, but now we have a live webchat facility that we use for scheduled sessions too – and we can talk to anyone who’s interested in a job at Hinkley Point on a one-to-one basis.
We’ve also represented the project at virtual careers fairs. And we’ve launched a private Facebook group, where we post all our jobs – you can join it here. This has been a really valuable way for us to reach local people in the community.
We’re working more closely with our partners too. Unfortunately, more people have been using Jobcentreplus services since the pandemic began. So we are constantly looking for new ways to ensure local people get access to the opportunities on the project. While supporting local businesses, which might have seen their workload increase because of the types of products they make.