4 Apr 12

EDF Energy presents £1.6m to the West Somerset Community College






(L-R) Barbara Jones EDF Energy, Nuclear New Build Director of Human Resources, Richard Mayson EDF Energy, Nuclear New Build Director of Planning and External Affairs, Marguerrite Bowden, West Somerset Community College Assistant Principal and Head of Post 16 Education, Adrian Dyer, Chief Executive West Somerset Council and Barbara O'Keefe, West Somerset Community College Business Manager.


The West Somerset Community College in Minehead has received £1.6 million from EDF Energy to build new training facilities and deliver a range of new courses which will open up training opportunities for young people, businesses and those seeking to develop new skills. As a result, these young people will be prepared for the employment opportunities presented by Hinkley Point C and local unemployed people will be able to gain new life-long skills.


The contribution to the College covers two exciting initiatives - £1million for 'Hinkley Enterprise' and £600,000 for 'Hinkley Ready'. It is part of a funding package relating to EDF Energy's Site Preparations Work application at Hinkley Point C, which was approved by West Somerset Council.


Hinkley Enterprise provides a high quality training and work-based programme, which provides qualifications up to and including Foundation Degree level, and supports people wishing to start or develop a business. There will be an emphasis on the development of enterprise skills and how to run a successful business. Courses, which are due to start this autumn, cover:



  • Hospitality, Catering and Event Management. This will be undertaken in a new industrial training kitchen at the College, and students will also have the use of a mobile catering facility
  • Outdoor Education, with training for more than 30 apprentices a year provided across a range of activities such as orienteering, archery, trekking, canoeing, sailing, raft building and leadership
  • Business and Administration, for more than 20 apprentices a year
  • Retail and E-Commerce



Hinkley Enterprise also aims to develop educational partnerships in the community and already the College is working with Stogursey Primary School to expand these links.


Hinkley Ready is a vocational training programme for construction and other trades, which will deliver apprenticeships, courses for unemployed people and further education initiatives to get local people ready for work opportunities at Hinkley Point C. Customised classrooms are currently being built at the College and training will begin this autumn.








Barbara Jones EDF Energy, Nuclear New Build Director of Human Resources, Richard Mayson EDF Energy, Nuclear New Build Director of Planning and External Affairs, Barbara O'Keefe, West Somerset Community College Business Manager, Marguerrite Bowden, West Somerset Community College Assistant Principal and Head of Post 16 Education with Construction, Catering and Automotive students, Lewis Penfold, Sean Kendall, Olivia Stern, Faye Wohey, Richard Boggie, Will Harkin (standing) and Josh Bristow.


Hinkley Ready is a vocational training programme for construction and other trades, which will deliver apprenticeships, courses for unemployed people and further education initiatives to get local people ready for work opportunities at Hinkley Point C. Customised classrooms are currently being built at the College and training will begin this autumn.


Areas of focus include:



  • Formwork Carpentry - for skilled carpenters and joiners
  • Heating and Ventilation
  • Electrical and Mechanical
  • Environmental and Laboratory testing
  • Plant Maintenance
  • Hard and soft landscaping




Richard Mayson, EDF Energy's Director of Planning and External Affairs for Nuclear New Build, said: "Our education strategy is about getting people ready for work and jobs, and establishing a more entrepreneurial and supportive environment for people of all ages and abilities. We're delighted to be working with the College to help people throughout West Somerset gain the necessary skills and training to grasp the many opportunities available from Hinkley Point C. This is an exciting project with the potential to transform communities. It will raise aspirations and allow local people to get in the best possible position to secure employment when the time comes."


Nick Swann, Principal of West Somerset Community College, added: "The additional facilities at The West Somerset Community College will allow the College to serve its young people, businesses and the wider community across a diverse range of qualifications and training opportunities. This should provide a significant boost to the local economy. We are also very excited about the development of Higher Education courses, delivered in University standard facilities, which will complement the already well-established academic progression route for College students from our high quality A level programme to securing places at leading universities."


Adrian Dyer, Chief Executive at West Somerset Council, said: "Providing local students and businesses with the training and skills to maximise employment opportunities that will in turn benefit the local economy was one of the key aims of the section 106 agreement negotiated and secured by the council.


"We are delighted to see this investment in The West Somerset Community College. Not only will it benefit students and local firms, it offers people out of work the chance to learn new skills to take advantage of future opportunities."


The contribution to The West Somerset Community College is part of the latest instalment of £5.7 million of funding from EDF Energy relating to site preparation work at Hinkley Point C. The payment coincides with the start of the second phase of preparatory works, which includes on-site archaeology, vegetation clearance and completion of fencing.


The £5.7 million is split between West Somerset Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council, NHS Somerset, Bridgwater College and West Somerset Community College. It includes support for economic development, education, ecology, transport, tourism, community safety and diverting public rights of way. It also contributes towards the creation of new jobs, including employment skills and community outreach posts for Sedgemoor District Council, an outreach worker for West Somerset Council and a young persons support officer for Somerset County Council.


Including the latest payment, almost £7m has now been invested locally out of a total of £30 million committed by EDF Energy relating to site preparations work. More payments will follow as work progresses.

West Somerset Council approved EDF Energy's application for site preparations in July 2011 and a legal agreement was signed in January 2012 allowing work to start. In October 2011 EDF Energy submitted its main application to build and operate Hinkley Point C to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), committing to more than £500 million in mitigation, of which at least £150 million will be of lasting benefit to the community. The application is now being examined by the IPC.


For further information regarding the training opportunities outlined above please email The West Somerset Community College: sch.539@educ.somerset.gov.uk