EDF report highlights youth skills benefits of Hinkley Point C project

18 April 2024

The nuclear power construction project in the UK has led to 8000 people being trained at specialist centres, and prompted a 25% increase in younger adults living in the area, according to the Hinkley Point C Socio-Economic Impact Report 2024.

Hinkley Point C is a giant construction site, with about 10,000 people working on it (Image: Alex Hunt/WNN)

According to the company's report, 1320 apprentices have been trained so far, in areas ranging from hospitality to accountancy and project management, while productivity for the nearby town of Bridgwater is now 10% higher than other surrounding towns.

It says that 7885 people have already trained at the Centres of Excellence for welding, mechanical, electrical and construction skills, with 1307 currently in training. The centres aim to train 30,000 people over their lifetimes. The report says that as well as its direct economic impact, with 900 permanent jobs for more than 60 years, Hinkley Point C is "a catalyst for long-term growth leaving a legacy of a more skilled and productive workforce, that gives Somerset’s economy a competitive edge".

The 25% increase in the numbers of adults aged 25-39 in the area has reversed outward migration of young people, says Hinkley Point C Managing Director Stuart Crooks in his foreword to the report, adding: "Our investment is a 100-year commitment to the area. I am pleased that we are making a difference and I am determined that our social impact will endure for many years to come."

The Socio-economic Impact Report 2024 says there are 3800 British companies in the supply chain, with GBP7.3 billion (USD9.1 billion) being spent with regionally-based businesses by the end of construction.

Tom Greatrex, CEO of the UK's Nuclear Industry Association, welcomed the report's findings and looked ahead to the plans for a 'replica' plant to be built at Sizewell C, saying: "We now need the government to get Sizewell C to a Final Investment Decision, so we can unlock these same benefits for the East of England and continue the revival of Britain’s industrial workforce.

"These stations are the most significant green energy projects in a generation, and we should use them as the springboard for a full programme of new nuclear plants, large and small, to create life-changing opportunities for people and businesses up and down the country."

Construction of Hinkley Point C - composed of two EPR reactors of 1630 MWe each - began in December 2018, with unit 1 of the plant originally scheduled to start up by the end of 2025, before that was revised to 2027 in May 2022. In January EDF announced that the "base case" was now for unit 1 being operational in 2030, with the cost revised from GBP26 billion to between GBP31-34 billion, in 2015 prices. When operational, the plant is expected to provide enough power for 6 million homes for at least 60 years.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News