Chamber News

Suffolk groups welcome new Hinkley Point C socio-economic report

Suffolk groups welcome new Hinkley Point C socio-economic report
  • Report highlights boost to local wages and ‘levelling up’ in South West
  • Suffolk Chamber of Commerce says report shows what’s possible for Suffolk 
  • Publication comes as Sizewell C launches new recruitment drive for apprentices 


Latest figures from Hinkley Point C in Somerset, show the huge economic benefits Sizewell C could bring to the East of England, including thousands of contracts for local companies, higher local incomes and greater social mobility.

The Hinkley Point C Socio-Economic Impact Report shows the UK’s first new nuclear power station since Sizewell B has already delivered £4.1 billion to the South West economy against an original target of £1.5billion. The project is also helping to level up the region by boosting wages and local productivity.

The latest findings at HPC show that: 

  • Bridgwater, the closest large town to the site, is now outperforming major regional cities in terms of productivity. 
  • Sedgemoor district is seeing the largest growth in household income of any area within Devon and Somerset - above the regional average and above larger cities, such as Exeter and Plymouth.  
  • 1,417 companies in the South West are now involved in building Hinkley Point C, with 14,400 jobs expected to be supported  
  • The project has trained 922 apprentices, and is on track to hit its target of hiring 1,000 apprentices during construction later this year 


John Dugmore, Chief Executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said:
“These latest figures from Hinkley Point C show what we can achieve here in Suffolk and East Anglia regarding supply chain opportunities to support economic growth.  Our Supply Chain engagement team are working with almost 2000 businesses, who are eager to get started, to get them fit and ready to seize the huge supply chain opportunities that the Sizewell C project will bring to our region.”
 
Terry Baxter, CEO Inspire Suffolk, said:
“Sizewell C will be a catalyst for positive change for some of our most vulnerable young people in the region.  The project is already delivering a boost in skills and training with us at Inspire Suffolk and young people tell us they want a chance to do more with Sizewell C.” 
 
Sizewell C has been putting plans in place to make sure skills are developed locally so that as many people as possible can benefit from the opportunities on offer if the project is given the go ahead.  
 
The project will create 1,500 apprenticeships and is carrying out another round of recruitment with assessments taking place at East Coast College this week. Apprentices from Lowestoft and Ipswich have been working for Sizewell C’s key contractor Doosan Babcock since last year. 
 
Agreements are now in place between Sizewell C and all Further Education Colleges in the county, including the University of Suffolk.
 
Humphrey Cadoux Hudson, Sizewell C Managing Director, said:
“Hinkley Point C is a fantastic project which, as well as securing our future energy needs, is helping to transform lives today. We want to do the same at Sizewell C which is why we are putting in the effort before construction to help prepare the local workforce and supply chain so they can benefit from the opportunities that lie ahead.  Just like our sister project in Somerset, Sizewell C will deliver well paid employment and a boost in education leaving a legacy of skills for the region for decades to come.” 
 
Sizewell C has already:

  • Set out a funding programme, known as the Deed of Obligation, with a package of over £250m to be invested in key areas such as a community fund and in employment and skills and the environment
  • Set up a Jobs Service with training of DWP work coaches in place and some workers starting with HPC before transferring to SZC
  • Invested £200,000 in outreach work through our partnership with Inspire Suffolk and Access Community Trust
  • Published an employment and training prospectus that provides a pathway from education and training through to jobs with the project
  • Created an interactive careers platform to support Young Sizewell C subscribers keen to know more about the jobs on the project
  • Appointed early apprenticeships being placed in welding, pipe fitting, project controls, formwork carpentry, surveying

Apprentice case studies

Joshua Wilkins is a Sizewell C Project Controls Apprentice who joined the programme in 2019 after studying STEM subjects at East Norfolk Sixth Form College has just returned to Suffolk after spending two years working on Hinkley Point C.  Joshua is following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father who both worked on the construction of Sizewell B: “I have learnt so much at Hinkley Point C and am ready for the next stage of my apprenticeship here at Sizewell C.  It is great to be back home too.”  
 

Joshua Wilkins, Sizewell C Project Controls Apprentice
 
“I am a project controls apprentice for Sizewell C. It’s a three-year apprenticeship which I started at Hinkley Point C in Somerset and am completing in Suffolk with Sizewell C. Before I joined the project I studied Level 2 and Level 3 courses in science, IT, maths and game development and engineering at East Norfolk Sixth Form College.  The 3D modelling and code development in gaming has been really useful for working on the 4D design of Hinkley Point C. My family recommended the apprenticeship to me as both my dad and grandad worked on the construction of Sizewell B.  I am learning so much and really enjoy combining learning with on the job experience.” 
 
 

 

Will Rushbrook, Kickstart placement with Sizewell C
 
“This placement with Sizewell C has lined up the rest of my career.  I joined Sizewell C after completing my A-Levels in Maths, Chemistry and Physics at Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge.  The placement has given me experience and connections in the business I want to work in before I start my Physics degree in Bristol later this year.  I first found out about all the opportunities with the project when I came for a work experience placement at Sizewell B when I was 15, this really opened my eyes to careers in the nuclear industry.”
 

Cody Lucas, Sizewell C Welding Apprentice
 
Cody was studying a Level 3 qualifications in welding at the East Coast College Lowestoft campus, when he secured an apprenticeship with Doosan Babcock which will see him start at Hinkley Point C before returning to Suffolk to work at Sizewell C.
 
“It is an opportunity of a lifetime to work at Hinkley Point C and then come back home to Suffolk as a qualified welder to work at Sizewell C. I was over the moon when I got the phone call to say I got on the apprenticeship.” 

The Sizewell C consortium has committed to invest £4.4 billion in the East of England with £2bn spent in Suffolk alone.

Article by Suffolk Chamber