New figures released by EDF Energy demonstrate the potential of a new nuclear power station at Sizewell C to create local jobs and skills. A report into Sizewell C’s sister station, Hinkley Point C shows that 1,700 people are already employed locally – just two years into construction and that more than 380 apprenticeships have already been created.
The report into the socio-economic benefits at Hinkley Point C has been welcomed by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and young people’s charity Inspire Suffolk.
John Dugmore, Chief Executive, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “The latest Hinkley Point C socio-economic study makes fascinating reading. It certainly provides very welcome evidence which demonstrates the benefits Sizewell C could deliver to the Suffolk business community. Suffolk Chamber continues to work closely with the Sizewell C project team to ensure local businesses are at the front of the queue to work on this major project.”
Terry Baxter, Chief Executive, Inspire Suffolk, said: “Sizewell C gives Suffolk the opportunity to address some very real social issues that pockets of the county are living with. By delivering a clear education, skills and employment strategy, the power station will have a positive impact on the county and leave a meaningful legacy for those we regularly work with at Inspire Suffolk.”
The Realising the Socio-economic Benefits report measures Hinkley Point C’s performance against ambitions set out before construction began. It shows that:
- Spending with South West businesses reached £980m by the end of January and has now topped £1bn. A further £500m is ready to be spent in new contracts which have already been signed
- 6,500 people have worked on the construction site so far
- 1,700 of the current workforce live in Somerset, of which 300 are under 35 years old
- 8,500 people have been trained and assessed at the specially built Construction Skills and Innovation Centre near the site
- 380 apprentices have already been taken on by the project
As well as tackling climate change by providing decades of reliable, low carbon electricity, Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C will provide lasting social and business benefits. These range from increasing local employment, to the development of a sustainable regional supply chain and the advancement of new training facilities and qualifications.
The report highlights the big efforts to build a pipeline of skills from schools to the site. Last year, Hinkley Point C worked with 14,500 pupils in over 100 schools and colleges. Efforts to increase the poor level of diversity in construction have shown women succeed in areas traditionally dominated by men – like operating the 50 cranes where half of the first crane apprentices are women. Work to improve accessibility in 2018 also saw the first intake of from a new supported traineeship for those with special educational needs.
Jim Crawford, Sizewell C project development director said: “Our aim is to maximise the huge benefits in jobs and skills for local people, especially the young, whilst minimising the environmental impact of the project. This report shows the benefits Suffolk stands to gain from a new nuclear station at Sizewell.
“In Somerset, we are delivering on our ambition to make a difference to people and boost business. Companies such as Poundfield, based near Stowmarket, are already supplying Hinkley Point and others supply Sizewell B but the future opportunities for Suffolk businesses at Sizewell C are even greater.”