Hinkley Point C smashes regional investment target and predicts 1,700 new jobs in next year

  • May 21, 2021
  • EDF Energy

Hinkley Point C expects to hire 1,700 people in the next year, helping the South West economy recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. The jobs forecast comes in the latest report into the positive social and economic impact of the new nuclear power station, which will play a key role in helping Britain fight climate change by achieving net-zero emissions.

The report shows that spending with South-West based businesses has already hit £3.2 billion, more than twice the initial target of £1.5 billion set as the project began. It also shows that:

The new jobs on the project will include roles in construction, welding, electrical and equipment installation and wider support roles. The Hinkley Point C Jobs Service is working with Somerset colleges and training providers to make the new roles as accessible as possible to local people. Facilities like the new Welding Centre of Excellence and Construction Skills and Innovation Centre operated in partnership with Bridgwater and Taunton College, give people a chance to learn new skills to start careers with the project, even if they don’t have previous experience.

The full 2021 Hinkley Point C Socio-Economic Impact report can be read here.

The Bridgwater based Jobs Service Team continue to work with Jobcentre Plus and a network of employment hubs, also supported by Hinkley Point C, to help as many local people into jobs as possible. People interested in jobs at Hinkley Point C should register their interest online or contact the team direct via e-mail: [email protected] or by telephone: 0800 029 4289.

Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said: “Today’s report underlines the tremendous benefits the first nuclear power station in a generation is bringing to local people in Somerset and beyond. I was delighted to meet some of the talented apprentices already being taken on when I recently visited Hinkley Point C, and it’s clear to me that major infrastructure projects like this are fundamental to our future prosperity as we build back greener from the pandemic.

“As we work towards our world-leading climate targets and drive forward Britain’s green industrial revolution, nuclear will continue to be an important and reliable source of clean electricity, and Hinkley Point C will play a chief role in delivering that.”

Hinkley Point C Managing Director Stuart Crooks said: “Hinkley Point C plays a vital role in the fight against climate change and this report shows the project is also able to create jobs and opportunity for British people and businesses. As we come out of the pandemic, we hope to safely increase the numbers working on the project and create jobs just as they are needed most. Our big investment in local education and training means we are ready to help people find work and start new careers.”

Cllr. David Hall, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Community Infrastructure at Somerset County Council, said: “The substantial economic, skills and jobs boost provided by the Hinkley Point C project continues to be extremely positive news for the county. As lead member for the Council’s Climate Change and the Climate Emergency Strategy, I also value the contribution this infrastructure will make to low carbon energy production for many years. The successes to date are testament to the ongoing collaboration between ourselves and the Hinkley Point C project team and I remain extremely proud of how businesses from across the County of Somerset are playing a critical role in this infrastructure.”

Cllr Gill Slocombe, Portfolio Holder for Inward Investment and Growth at Sedgemoor District Council, said: “It is so very important that we have substantial social and economic benefits delivered by Hinkley Point C, not least as we continue to feel the effects of the pandemic on the economy and at the same time seek to address long terms issues of economic disadvantage. The skills and career opportunities that are now available for people in Sedgemoor are undoubtedly creating a positive impact today, they should also pave the way to the deliver a longer-term sustainable transformational economic legacy for the community and businesses of the district.”

Natalie Beacham, Project Lead for Somerset Chamber of Commerce’s Hinkley Supply Chain Team, said: “Somerset Chamber is extremely proud to be playing its part in this hugely important infrastructure project and to help secure a legacy for Somerset’s highly-skilled and diverse business community. To have Hinkley Point C on our doorstep is a huge opportunity and to be able to ensure local businesses can prepare for and win contracts for the project has been hugely rewarding for the Hinkley Supply Chain team.

“Since 2016, the supply chain team has matched thousands of businesses to work opportunities at Hinkley Point C, making a huge contribution towards the incredible £3.2 billion the project has already generated for the regional economy. We are looking forward to helping many more businesses benefit in the years to come.”

With over 30 years of development and experience, Bridgwater-based engineering services company Elecsis Limited has won a substantial contract, working with Veolia Water Technologies, on Hinkley Point C’s raw water storage and water demineralisation control buildings.

“We hope this will be one of many contracts as the project develops and we can show the quality and technical expertise of Somerset companies,” said Chris Pratt, Chairman and Managing Director of Elecsis. By working with the Hinkley Supply Chain Team, Chris was able to keep up-to-date with all the latest contract opportunities at Hinkley Point C; “Hinkley Point C is a huge project, so having the Hinkley Supply Chain indicating potential contracts and also suggesting suitable suppliers to the Tier 1s is of great assistance.”

William Hare is a specialist steel fabrication company with Hinkley Point C contracts totalling more than £135m. With factories in the north-west of England, the company expanded into Risca, South Wales, as discussions with Hinkley Point C progressed. The result was a multimillion-pound investment into its newest facility, which currently employs around 60 people with plans to increase to 100, drawing on local expertise to fill the roles. It’s also committed to apprenticeships and training “earn and learn” positions across its locations. For example, the Risca factory has four apprentices and a new graduate position working on Hinkley Point C.

Matthew Nesbit, Group Board Director, said: “We have apprentices at all of our locations and the Hinkley Point C work touches all of them. It has given us the opportunity to develop and upskill our workforce to the highest nuclear standards. We’ve invested around £10m in plant, infrastructure and people at Risca. The confidence to spend that kind of money comes from the contracts we have at Hinkley Point C, and we’re proud that we’ve been able to have a positive impact on the local community.

When Stacey’s friend shared an article on social media about Bylor and their pledge to drive more women into the construction industry, it immediately caught her eye – despite having very little knowledge of steel fixing or the construction industry.

Having grown up in Somerset, Stacey moved to Hertfordshire at the age of 16 to pursue her passion for football at the Arsenal Football Academy. Now, having started her steel fixing apprenticeship at Hinkley Point C, she has moved back to Somerset to complete her training.

Stacey, aged 33, said: “The Hinkley Point C project has given me opportunities I didn’t know existed; the courses and training provided is something any business should be proud of. I’ve been put through multiple training courses to gain qualifications that can be used in over 150 different countries - paid for and provided by the Hinkley Point C project. What a fantastic opportunity for apprentices to gain extra skills and knowledge that will benefit them in their future careers.”

“I chose to do an apprenticeship as I wanted to become further qualified and gain knowledge and experience in an industry I knew nothing about. My intention is to combine my skills and qualifications to become a supervisor as one thing I have noticed since being here is that women are quite under-represented in that role.”

“I am what they call an ‘adult learner’ and being away from home and my children has it challenges, but it’s something that Hinkley Point C fully support you with. There are so many people to talk to if you are struggling; you’re never alone. Something which a lot of other companies, in my opinion, can learn from!”

Bec Nailor, 26 from Bridgwater, joined the Hinkley Point C Jobs Service Facebook group, which was set up during the first national lockdown as a way of engaging with local jobseekers when careers events weren’t taking place.

“I was looking to move jobs and had seen friends on social media tagging each other in posts on the Jobs Service Facebook group,” Bec said. “I started following the page and soon saw a post for a PA/ project support role in the site operations team at Hinkley Point C.”

“The Jobs Service page is quick and easy to use. I even shared a link from the Jobs Service with one of my friends and she’s ended up working on the project too”

Bec, who had never worked in the construction industry before, has now been on the project since November 2020 and is enjoying getting to grips with her role and the site.

“Construction can seem like a very male-dominated industry, but I’ve felt included the whole time and everyone is encouraged to further their careers.”

EDF is helping Britain achieve net-zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission electric future and tackling climate change. We are Britain’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity, meeting around one-fifth of the country’s demand and supplying millions of customers with electricity and gas.

With around 5 million accounts, EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British homes and businesses

and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. All of our home and small business customers get energy tariffs backed by zero carbon electricity as standard.

We generate low-carbon electricity from eight nuclear power stations, more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms, thousands of EV charge-points, and combined heat and power plants. Wind, nuclear and solar all produce electricity that is zero carbon at the point of generation and have similar emissions over the build, run and retire lifecycles.

EDF is leading the UK’s nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and is leading the development of plans for a replica at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C will provide low-carbon electricity to meet 14% of UK demand and power around 12 million homes.

EDF is one of the UK’s largest investors in renewables, with 1GW of renewable generation in operation and over 4GW in construction, planning and development across a range of technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar and battery storage. We are constructing our largest offshore wind farm in Britain – the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project in Scotland, which will be ready in 2023. Our energy services business, Imtech, is one of the largest technical service providers

in the UK and Ireland.

CGN is a leading global clean energy company. It has the largest nuclear generating capacity in China, the third largest worldwide, and is the main developer of new nuclear power globally.

The company has more than 30 years’ experience of safely and effectively developing, constructing and operating nuclear plants. It has 24 units in operation in China, with a total installed generating capacity of 27.14GW, and a further 7 units (8.23GW) under construction.

CGN is also a major investor in renewable energy, and has 38.6GW of installed capacity in 18 countries around the world. In the UK, the company is investing alongside EDF in Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C and Bradwell B, as well as in the project to secure regulatory approval for its UK HPR1000 reactor design. CGN also has 346MW of wind power in operation or under construction in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland.