Minister finds 1000 reasons to visit for National Apprenticeship Week
Robert Halfon MP with apprentices, from left, Darron Huish, Liam Nally, Adam Biddiscombe, Pearl Cardiff, Molly Lalic and Kyran Darley.
Skills and Apprenticeships Minister Robert Halfon MP has congratulated EDF Energy for the work it is doing to create apprenticeships for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.
Around 1,000 apprentices will be taken on during the construction of Hinkley Point C as part of the 25,000 job opportunities available across a whole range of careers such as engineering, design, steel-fixing, commercial, catering and construction.
The Minister was speaking during a visit to the 140 hectare construction site to mark the beginning of National Apprenticeship Week.
Mr Halfon said, “National Apprenticeship Week is the highlight of the apprenticeships year – it showcases the best of the best and celebrates the positive impact apprenticeships and traineeships have on learners and employers. There really has never been a better time to be an apprentice. I congratulate EDF Energy for getting involved, giving people a chance to climb the ladder of opportunity and get on in the world of work.”
During a tour of the site, Mr Halfon was shown the progress that has been made since the project received the final agreement from Government last September.
Around 1,400 people are on site each day, with work well underway on moving the 6 million cubic metres of earth that needs to be cleared, building concrete batching plants and installing accommodation for workers, as well as the start of a temporary jetty that will bring 80% of aggregate materials by sea.
The Minister went on to Bridgwater and Taunton College’s Construction Skills and Innovation Centre at Cannington where he met some of the apprentices already working with EDF Energy and its contract partners, including KierBAM and G4S. The Construction Skills Centre has already trained some of the workforce at Hinkley Point, such as steel-fixers who have helped build the concrete-making plants and huge silos that will store materials for the build.
EDF Energy initiatives such as the ‘Pretty Curious’ campaign to encourage girls to study science and the ‘Inspire’ education programme in Somerset are promoting diversity in apprenticeships, engineering and construction.
Philip Parker, head of industrial strategy for Nuclear New Build at EDF Energy, said: “It was great to be able to showcase the opportunities that a huge project such as Hinkley Point C can create. As well as offering thousands of jobs and apprenticeships during construction, we are committed to leaving a lasting legacy of skills and increased economic prospects for the south west.”