Sizewell C announces ambitious target to employ 1,500 apprentices

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Sizewell C is increasing the number of apprentices it is aiming to employ from 1,000 to 1,500 if construction of the new nuclear power station goes ahead

Apprentices will be trained in a wide variety of construction and mechanical roles including degree-level engineering, digital engineering, welding, project management, and steel-fixing.

The new apprenticeship target follows the success in training people of all ages at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.

Four years into construction, more than 650 apprentices have already worked on over fifty different training programmes linked to the project. The majority of apprentices have come from the local area.

There will also be apprenticeships in many site support services including operations management, logistics, environment, health and safety, security, and accountancy.

Young Sizewell C scheme

Last month saw the launch of the Young Sizewell C scheme, which is designed to introduce 16-21-year olds living in Suffolk and Norfolk to some of the jobs the project could offer.

Young Sizewell C and a future Jobs Service will be used to identify as many opportunities as possible for young people living in the east of England.

Sizewell C is also exploring ways to provide further training and employment opportunities by transferring EDF apprenticeship levy to other east of England businesses.

While many of the apprentices will be based on or close to the construction site in Suffolk, others will have the opportunity to work with suppliers in different parts of the UK.

Opportunity to transform young people’s lives

Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, managing director, Sizewell C, said: “The progress being made at Hinkley Point C has given us the confidence to announce a significantly higher target for apprentices.

“Sizewell C will create thousands of jobs and training opportunities in the East of England and across the UK’s nuclear supply chain.

“Together with our suppliers, we are determined to help people who work for us get good qualifications and build long-term, well-paid careers.”

Cameron Gilmour, vice president nuclear, Doosan Babcock, and chairman of the Sizewell C Consortium, said: “Not every school-leaver wants to go to university and apprenticeships are a great way to learn on the job.

“This announcement demonstrates the huge potential of Sizewell C to transform the lives of young people by offering them paid training and a great career.”

Essential ‘skills bridge’

Gail Cartmail, assistant general secretary, Unite the Union, commented: “This is excellent news for young people throughout East Anglia who will have the opportunity to develop skills for life.

“It is now absolutely imperative that the government not only gives Sizewell C the go ahead but also does everything in its power to ensure the project starts as soon as possible.

“It is essential that a skills bridge is created from Hinkley Point to Sizewell to ensure that the skills and the knowledge that have been learnt on the initial project can be transferred to Sizewell and are not lost for ever.

“Nuclear power is essential to meeting the UK’s future energy needs, yet successive governments have failed to provide the impetus to get the new generation of nuclear power stations built. That has got to change if we are going to keep the lights on.”

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