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Infrastructure investment levels in the South West average £500m to £600m per year with approximately 200,000 construction workers employed in the region. The South West is projected to see two new nuclear power stations, at Hinkley Point and Oldbury.
Hinkley Point C the first of the proposed UK nuclear power plants is scheduled to become one of Europe’s largest construction projects with an estimated 5,600 construction jobs at peak, equating to 25,000 individual job opportunities over the 10 year construction period, and once built an operational workforce of 900 during its 60-year operation.
Employers recognise the benefits of having a local workforce and generally want to support employment in the local communities. Local employment can improve retention as employees based locally are much less likely to be attracted by the potential of higher compensation on another project or consider changing jobs where an employment opportunity arises closer to their permanent residence. Self-employed / contract workers that do not live within commuting distance often look for travel time around weekends to return home which can impact on productivity. Travelling contract workers may also consider the added cost of having local accommodation and the cost of travelling which may increase their rates. There is also an issue with work-life balance where the additional travelling time can eventually take its toll.
Around a third of the construction jobs on the Hinkley Point C nuclear project are targeted to go to local people as depicted by the two areas, local and regional in the map.
To facilitate this EDF are supporting training initiatives for local people looking to work on the project. The development of construction trades is being facilitated through the Construction Industry Skills Centre, a collaboration between EDF and Bridgwater College to help equip local people with the skills needed across a wide range of construction roles. EDF have also created an employment brokerage scheme in association with the Job Centre to facilitate the employment and training of local people living within a 90 minute journey of the site.
EDF Energy and the Somerset Chamber of Commerce have also established a Hinkley Professional Services Group that includes local recruitment companies to help the supply chain contractors to source local people for the Hinkley project. A2O People have successfully qualified as members of the Hinkley Professional Services Group and we have developed a Guide for Job Seekers in the Nuclear Sector which provides an overview of the sector and details the timelines, certifications and vetting required to secure a job in nuclear.
Union Agreements have been negotiated for the HPC project that provide frameworks for working conditions and pay. Tier 1 contractors have committed to using permanent staff over relying on contract or temporary labour, where it is practical to do so. EDF has also committed contractors to train 500 apprentices over the course of the project.
You can find out more about “The Qualifications Needed for a Job on the Hinkley Point C Nuclear Project” in our blog post.
To understand the vetting and certifications required to work on a nuclear construction project you can read our blog post "The Hinkley Point C Application, Vetting and Onboarding Process".
You can learn more about the timelines and scale of employment opportunities on the Hinkley Point C project in our blog post "When Will Employers be Hiring Staff on the Hinkley Point C Nuclear Project".
A2O People are a specialist Recruitment and HR Consultancy in the Nuclear, Energy and Construction sectors helping people to find permanent and contract jobs and helping our clients to source local and hard to find construction professionals.
If you are interested in exploring job opportunities on the Hinkley Point C project or in the Nuclear or Energy Construction sectors you can submit your CV. We are particularly interested in speaking with local candidates who are based in or may be interested in returning to the South West area.
We are happy to offer a referral scheme that can help good causes or earn a reward for the referrer, if you know people who would be interested in working on one of the nuclear projects you can Refer your Colleague or Friend.
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