EDF Energy Response to publication of NIA Capability Report and Nuclear Supply Chain Action Plan
Today’s NIA Capability Report highlights the progress made in the UK’s capability to deliver a new nuclear programme. At the same time, the Government’s Nuclear Supply Chain Action Plan, also published today, outlines actions that will help the UK to take advantage of the significant opportunities presented by the planned projects.
EDF Energy’s first priority is the successful delivery of the project and we are carrying out detailed work to maximise the benefits for UK suppliers. The company is working to help local communities make the most of job and training opportunities, with measures including the creation of a £15 million world class training centre for our industry in Somerset, established in partnership with Bridgwater College.
As is recognised within the Nuclear Supply Chain Action Plan, the sharing of knowledge is also crucial if the UK is to establish itself as a leader in new nuclear build. EDF Energy’s 800 strong team for Hinkley Point shares experience from 50 nuclear projects around the world, as well as delivery of the Olympics and Terminal 5.
Subject to a final decision to invest, the new nuclear power stations that EDF Energy plans to build at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk would each create around 25,000 employment opportunities during the course of construction with 5,600 people on site at peak. The major milestones passed by EDF Energy are recognised in the NIA Capability Report. The Nuclear Site Licence has been granted and good progress is being made towards closure of the EPR Generic Design Assessment (GDA) with just one issue now to be resolved by the joint regulator before the design is licensed for use in the UK. The company is looking forward to the recommendation being made to the Secretary of State by the Planning Inspectorate regarding our planning application for Hinkley Point C by the end of the year.
The company’s objective is to have all the components in place around the end of the year to allow a final investment decision for Hinkley Point C at the earliest possible date. This includes working with Government to agree a Contract for Difference that is in the best interests of both consumers and investors.
Investment in skills
- EDF Energy benefits from a well established training operation having invested over £100m in training equipment, processes and facilities, including 10 major training centres across the UK equipped with full scope nuclear plant simulators.
- EDF Energy is in the process of expanding our £3.5 million Nuclear Academy at Barnwood in Gloucestershire, which currently helps train some 2,500 employees each year.
- EDF Energy’s local employment brokerage scheme will become the main access point into work, generating the vacancies at Hinkley Point C and placing people from Somerset into long-term employment.
- Somerset councils and EDF Energy have signed a landmark Section 106 agreement which will deliver nearly £100 million for local communities to mitigate the impact of developing the proposed new nuclear power station. Under this agreement we have announced investment of £1.5 million in a Construction Skills Training Centre, which is set to deliver in excess of 1,200 training places, and £3 million in an Energy Skills Centre in Somerset. In April this year we announced a further investment of £1.6 million in West Somerset’s Community College to support training in specific skills and apprenticeships.
- Separately, EDF Energy is also investing £15 million to establish a world class training centre for our industry in partnership with Bridgwater College.
- EDF Energy has selected Kier Bam as the preferred bidder for £100million–plus contract for site preparation works at Hinkley Point C.
- An Anglo-French joint venture between Bouygues TP and Laing O’Rourke has been chosen as the preferred bidder for the Hinkley Point Civils Work contract. The contract, worth around £2 billion, will create an estimated 4,000 jobs with many of the 3,000 or so construction workers under this contract living in Somerset.
- Last month it was announced that Dean & Dyball Civil Engineering, part of Balfour Beatty, has been selected to build the £30 million temporary sea jetty at the Hinkley Point C, subject to EDF Energy’s final investment decision.
- EDF Energy estimates that some 400-500 construction apprentices will be required for our project at Hinkley Point C alone (primarily working within the supply chain). EDF Energy will also work closely with its construction suppliers to embed best practice for the recruitment and training of apprentices within the construction sector. EDF Energy will also require 200 operations apprentices for Hinkley Point C.
- EDF Energy’s nuclear business recruits 60-80 apprentices each year.
- EDF Energy runs a 4 year apprentice programme in the UK, which currently has a total population of 250 apprentices.
- The first two years of our apprentice programme are spent on a residential basis within the Royal Navy Military bases near Portsmouth. The final two years are spent back at our power stations.
- EDF Energy enjoys very high retention rates for our apprentices – only 3 apprentices have left our scheme since 2007.
Access to Apprenticeships Scheme
- In addition, EDF Energy’s year-long Access to Apprenticeships scheme is aimed at supporting those who may not initially meet the qualification or aptitude standards of our apprenticeships or who typically do not consider this type of training. The pilot Access to Apprenticeships scheme for engineering apprentices rolled out in September this year, with a separate scheme for construction apprentices is being developed.