Hinkley Point C has hit its goal of training 1,000 apprentices during the power station’s construction phase. The target was set during the planning stage of the project, as part of its commitment to maximising opportunities for local people.
The apprenticeship programme’s success is due to the extensive outreach work being done with local schools and colleges. Partnerships have also been set up with training providers, such as Bridgwater & Taunton College, creating a pipeline from the classroom to employment.
The apprenticeship programme is making a real difference across Somerset, with two thirds of all apprentices living within the local area.
Apprenticeships will continue to be available on the project as construction develops. Due to the number of skills needed to build the power station, there is a course for everyone, from welding, nuclear engineering, to HR and catering. Opportunities are available, regardless of previous experience, background, or age – the youngest apprentice is 18, and the oldest is in their 50s!
Hinkley Point C has also invested £8 million into three “Centres of Excellence” in Somerset, specialising in welding, mechanics, and electrics – meaning apprentices have access to world-class training equipment.
Nigel Cann, Delivery Director at Hinkley Point C, who started his career as an apprentice, said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve hit this milestone just six years into construction. I’m proud our project has played such an important role in helping to kick-start so many exciting careers.”
Andy Berry, Principal and CEO of Bridgwater and Taunton College said: “We are absolutely delighted to have supported Hinkley Point C in training its apprentices, and this is a huge milestone. Reaching this point ahead of schedule is even more of an achievement, and we look forward to the next stages of the project's development to meet the requirements of training the workforce at HPC."
Charlotte Casey, 22, from Bridgwater graduated from her Nuclear Engineering apprenticeship in the summer and is now working as an Operational Development Engineer on site. “My course was action packed, with training in everything from nuclear science to safety and regulation,” said Charlotte. “I’ve now secured a permanent job on the project, and my aim is to see Hinky Point C through to commissioning.”
Mat Danby, 28 from Bridgwater is a Level 3 Chef apprentice with Hinkley Point C’s catering provider, Somerset Larder. “Before I came here, I was frying chicken in KFC – and now I’m making meals for hundreds of hardworking people every day”, said Mat. “The best bit about my job is the progression I’m being given – and seeing the workforce enjoying my food!”
Travis Redfern, 22, from Taunton is a Digital Engineer Apprentice with BYLOR. “I originally wanted to be a primary school teacher, but after hearing about Hinkley Point C’s apprenticeships, I decided to change directions”, said Travis. “I’m so glad I did – I’m passionate about the project and I’m learning so much. It’s setting me up for the future.”