EDF has announced plans to take on 30,000 new trainees to work on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.
The French energy giant, which is developing the Somerset plant, said it was investing £24m to create the roles, with some of the money being pumped into three new local training hubs for welding, electrical and mechanical skills.
The firm said the positions were needed to help fit miles of pipes, cables, equipment, and control systems for the plant near Bridgwater, as it reaches “peak construction”.
It added the new opportunities would be created between now and the scheduled completion of one of Europe’s largest construction projects. The start of commercial electricity generation at the site is currently slated for June 2027.
Read more: Industry leaders in Cornwall call for Celtic Sea windfarms to land in the county
With the announcement EDF said £5.3bn had been spent so far with 1,300 South West companies during Hinkley Point C’s construction, with investment in local infrastructure and community support projects associated with the scheme now at £139m. It added that 1,130 apprentices had been trained so far.
Stuart Crooks, the managing director of said: “Nuclear power is not just essential for the country, it also delivers significant benefits for the communities and region that host it. We have worked hard with local colleges and businesses to make sure that Hinkley Point C increases prosperity and productivity in Somerset and the South West – giving as many people as possible the chance to increase their skills and earning potential.”
Energy Security Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “Cheap, abundant and reliable energy is essential for a thriving economy. The work at Hinkley Point C reminds us that nuclear not only boosts our energy security and independence, but also helps deliver greater economic growth here in Somerset, and to the UK as a whole.
“Hinkley is at the heart of our focus on supporting greater nuclear, alongside the funding we’ve committed to Sizewell C – the first public funding for a nuclear project in nearly four decades – and our plans for Great British Nuclear to push forward the latest technologies – all of which will enable us to power more of Britain from Britain and deliver jobs for generations to come.”
Emma Rawlings, chief executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said the plant was continuing to drive investment into the region, and once the plant was completed, businesses in the South West would be “more than ready to meet the demands of the future net zero economy”.
It comes after EDF announced that offshore work to install an underwater cooling water system for the facility was moving into its final stages. Two huge jack-up vessels arrived off the coast of the site earlier this month, to help install six vertical shafts which will help connect six miles of tunnels on the seabed of the Bristol Channel to the facility’s nuclear reactors – the first of which arrived on site in February.
EDF recently told investors in February that Hinkley Point C could now cost more than £30bn to complete due to inflation, amid rising prices for building materials and labour. Full construction of Hinkley Point C began in 2016. It was originally estimated the project would cost £18bn to build.
South West asbestos removal business expands with deal for Bristol firm Somerset-based hardware supplier Toolstation increases staff salaries by 9.4% Portishead robotics firm completes £1.8m wire harness project Bristol ranked 13th most expensive city in the world to build in in new study Like this story? Why not sign up to get the latest South West business news straight to your inbox.
You can find this story in My Bookmarks.Or by navigating to the user icon in the top right.