Sizewell C vital to Lowestoft regeneration
- Regional leaders gather to plan how Suffolk’s new nuclear power station will regenerate the town
- MoU signed between Sizewell C and East Coast College to deliver the skills needed for the project and other major developments in the area
- ABP and Sizewell consortium sign Statement of Intent to work together on transport strategy and maximising the local business supply chain
Sizewell C has taken another step forward today (23/9) with key agreements signed between regional education and business partners for the delivery of the project.
Over 100 leading representatives from the Lowestoft area, including the MP, leader of the LEP and local authority, gathered today to work through plans to maximise benefits from Sizewell C for Lowestoft.
The construction of Sizewell C is seen as vital to the regeneration programme for the town as it will deliver skills, training and jobs to local people. Work has already started with third sector groups, who represent those that are furthest from the workplace, such as Access Community Trust.
East Coast College is seen as an integral part in training local people to make sure they can access jobs at Sizewell C. Under the new agreement now in place that partnership will ensure a range of deliverables including:
- Support for the development of a Civil Engineering Campus at Lound, as an offsite hub for the project’s Civils Engineering Skills Centre of Excellence.
- Providing hands-on support, scoping potential investment needs under the Sizewell C Asset Skills Enhancement Capability fund, and build key relationships with suppliers such as tower/crawler cranes, and construction plant and equipment to explore potential co-investment or in-kind support.
- Work with the Energy Skills Centre at Lowestoft to identify potential new simulated environments for skills development, building on its existing bridge simulation suites. This could include, but not be limited to, immersive reality simulations for confined spaces, working at height, and crane operators.
- Support the development of our Welding Centre of Excellence, working with the College in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth to expand its virtual and physical welding bay capacity and capabilities. This will include exploring potential funding partners such as industry foundations, associations and trusts.
- Explore potential synergies with the East of England Offshore Wind Skills Centre at Great Yarmouth, specifically in commons areas of skills needs such as electrical, mechanical, and project management.
Humphrey Cadoux Hudson, Sizewell C Managing Director, said: “I am excited by the opportunities that Sizewell C will offer Suffolk. I have always believed in the importance of delivering opportunities for those living closest to the power station. The agreements we have signed today will ensure the project delivers a boost in skills and training and work for local people which will be instrumental in the regeneration of Lowestoft.”
Stuart Rimmer, Principal, East Coast College, said: “This agreement marks a significant step forward and points directly to real investments and developments for Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth. It is envisaged that Sizewell C will deliver good and wide ranging opportunities for high paid, high skilled work for our students and create investments that will provide legacy for skills and employment.”
The agreement with ABP supports Sizewell C’s pledge to local communities to minimise road use, maximise the movement of equipment using sea and rail and support the growth of the local economy through local firms gaining work on the project.
Speaking on the agreement, Andrew Harston, Regional Director, ABP, said: “In signing the Declaration of Intent, I am delighted to welcome this important milestone in the delivery of Sizewell C. This development will result in a crucial boost for the local economy and, by strategically using our conveniently-located port of Lowestoft, we can enable the reduction in road miles for the transport of construction materials by utilising coastal shipping. We are working closely with the SZC project team to make this happen.”
Latest figures from Hinkley Point C in Somerset, the first of the two new power stations planned for the UK, shows how Sizewell C can provide the road to economic recovery for Suffolk and Norfolk.
The figures from Hinkley Point C show spending in the South-West has hit £3.2 billion - twice the initial target and the project is set to hire 1,700 new roles in the next year. Furthermore, new training centres are helping local people to get the skills they need to access the opportunities. There are now over 200 companies in the East of England working with Hinkley Point C delivering over £1bn to the regional economy.
Apprenticeships have already been awarded to some young people in Suffolk who have started their training in Somerset before transferring back to Sizewell C.
Jack Milton was studying a Level 3 qualifications in welding at the East Coast College Lowestoft campus, when he secured an apprenticeship with Doosan Babcock which will see him start at Hinkley Point C before returning to Suffolk to work at Sizewell C. “I am really enjoying my welding apprenticeship, this time last year I was a student at East Coast College and now I am on my way to being a qualified welder ready to work on Sizewell C.”
Joshua Wilkins is a Sizewell C Project Controls Apprentice: “I am a project controls apprentice for Sizewell C. It’s a three-year apprenticeship which I have started at Hinkley Point C in Somerset and will complete in Suffolk with the Sizewell C project next year. I feel really proud to work in an industry that’s fighting climate change and making a real difference in helping Britain cut its emissions and protect the planet. I am now in the second year of my apprenticeship and next year I am looking forward to returning home to Suffolk to work on Sizewell C.”
This year Sizewell C has made major progress in preparing the region for new jobs and skills and has launched:
- A Jobs Service that already with some workers starting with HPC before transferring to SZC
- An employment and training prospectus that provides a pathway from education and training through to jobs with the project
- An interactive careers platform to support Young Sizewell C subscribers keen to know more about the jobs on the project
- Early apprenticeships being placed in welding, pipe fitting, project controls, formwork carpentry, surveying