Hinkley Point C Ensures the Future of Welsh Apprentices
21 Apprentices from Horizon’s suspended Wylfa Newdd new nuclear project will now continue their training as part of the construction of Hinkley Point C in Somerset.
The apprentices will join EDF Energy and work towards either a Nuclear Engineering Degree Apprenticeship or an Engineering and Maintenance Apprenticeship. The young engineers will gain valuable industry experience working on one of Europe’s largest nuclear development projects and play a vital role in supporting the future skills needs of the nuclear industry more widely.
Those not joining EDF Energy but keen to stay in the energy sector will continue their training at Coleg Menai’s recently opened, world-class Canolfan STEM centre and carry out work experience at Doosan Babcock, a company which works closely with EDF Energy ‘s existing nuclear power stations in the UK..
For several apprentices, aerospace engineering was their chosen direction and they will now join Babcock International. This scheme will see them stay in North Wales, where they’ll have the chance to work with Hawk aircraft at RAF Valley.
Sasha Davies, Head of Stakeholder Engagement (Wales) at Horizon Nuclear Power, said: “It was important to us that we found our fantastic apprentices opportunities to continue their studies in similar roles such as those with EDF Energy. While we’re suspending the Wylfa Newydd Project for now, making sure our apprentices can continue their career development was essential in delivering on our commitment to support local engineers of the future and we’re delighted all 33 have now found new schemes.
“We’re certain they’ll flourish as young engineers and their dedication and commitment has long impressed the Horizon team. We wish them all the very best for the future and continue to hope that one day they’ll form part of a future workforce here at Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey.”
Helen Higgs, Head of Organisational Capability, Hinkley Point C, said: “We are pleased to be able to support the future training and development of these apprentices. Once their training is complete, the apprentices will have access to future opportunities throughout the civil nuclear industry, including future nuclear projects in Wales.
We have an aspiration to create 1,000 new apprenticeships throughout the course of the project and this new cohort will join almost 400 other apprentices that have already been trained to date.”
In addition to supporting these apprentices, Hinkley Point C continues to provide significant employment and supply chain opportunities for Wales. Apart from the local workers at the Somerset site, the largest group of employees come from Wales – over 1,000 Welsh residents have worked on the project so far. Welsh business is also benefiting. Some 230,000 tonnes of Welsh steel is being supplied to the project and valuable contracts have already been awarded to Welsh companies in areas including steel fabrication, training, engineering, scaffolding, water management, and transportation and site services
Notes to Editors
1. EDF Energy is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C. This will provide low carbon electricity to meet 7% of UK demand. In 2018 the project met all of its milestones and remains on schedule.
2. In January 2019, following a decision by its parent company, Hitachi, Ltd., based on its commercial considerations as a private sector investor, Horizon announced that it was suspending its nuclear development programme. Horizon subsequently moved to stop the vast majority of its development activities, including at Wylfa Newydd. Horizon continues to engage closely with the UK Government over a revised and funding model for new nuclear and has taken steps to keep the option to resume development in the future
3. More information and detailed case studies on the opportunities provided for apprentices can be found within the 2019 Socio-Economic Report. The document is available online here.