Sizewell: Fears that only the menial jobs like ‘concrete pouring and cleaning’ will be offered to local residents when power plant project gets underway

Tom McGarry, EDF Tom McGarry, EDF

Friday, April 11, 2014
2:43 PM

Fears have been voiced that the proposed £14billion Sizewell C project will create few jobs for the people of east Suffolk – except the most menial.

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Community leaders have been invited to meet with bosses at EDF Energy to discuss their concerns, with the company keen to allay worries and explain the construction workforce and future job opportunities.

Managers have robustly defended their plans and say they are investing in education and want to ensure students in the area are qualified to work at the nuclear power station.

Leiston-cum-Sizewell town councillor Bill Howard said he was worried the jobs for local people would be low-skilled and amount to little more than “concrete pourers or cleaners”.

He said at peak construction for the plant there would be 5,600 workers – 3,000 of them would live on a campus nearby, suggesting they would not be local, while up to 1,700 would be put up in lodgings, and only around 1,000 would commute each day from Suffolk.

Mr Howard said: “It doesn’t leave many jobs for Leiston people.

“I am concerned about the quality of jobs which will be created – I don’t see much training for the better jobs going on.”

EDF Energy says that 900 people will be employed in operating Sizewell C.

The company is working in close partnership with schools, colleges, businesses, training providers, local authorities and central government to build education programmes and encourage and enable people to acquire the necessary skills.

Tom McGarry, communications manager for the Sizewell C project, said: “It’s a no-brainer. The more people from Suffolk Coastal and wider Suffolk working on this project the better – this project can only benefit this area and its economy.

“It’s heartening to hear parishes and towns raise these issues. At EDF we welcome engagement on education, jobs and skills but we have not heard anything from Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council since the first consultation.

“We are having meetings with education officers and employment officers, and strategic planners at the county council about the skills which will be needed and what investment we can make to improve them, and we would be happy to get round the table with Leiston councillors, too, on this.”

EDF says a key benefit for the community will be the high quality employment and training it would generate.

Skills in science and technology will be in high demand and apprenticeships would be offered to people with qualifications in the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths.

It stressed that skills will also be needed in a wide range of other areas – from business administration to carpentry, hospitality to catering.

Those involved in construction will also be encouraged to re-skill and up-skill to be involved in a number of different roles and to gain skills which can be used elsewhere afterwards.

10 comments

  • dim witted country chavs , i do not know how old you are pc plod.back in the 60s 70s 80s etc the dim witted country chavs came to ipswich for work and became foreman toolsetters machine setters etc.many came from leiston.

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Having spent 13 years in education at Leiston's schools being bullied for knowing the alphabet and occasionally doing my homework, I find myself caught between laughing at these comments and feeling deeply insulted on behalf of my dad, who is a brilliant and successful precision engineer in Leiston. Maybe it's because he was born in Aldeburgh!

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    Ex-IP17

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • This should come as some relief to us residents.

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    John Shirley

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Welcome to Europe. I am not sure what the emphasis on education is. Its a global world, experts will be imported from all over Europe who have the deemed skills... sounds like a pathetic sweetener in exchange for (legally) smuggling in and out nuclear material to make electricity. I am sure it couldn't cost that much to improve Leiston's education - its not really a big place. Perhaps EDF could help finance Ipswich's incomplete waterfront! (being Suffolk's county town after all) I also feel I need to point out "IP City" (now IP Network) the high tech corridor between Ipswich and Cambridge.. its never been what they had hoped, but there are *some* very intelligent people in this county. Probably just not in Leiston. I think EDF are having a laugh...

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • there will be no jobs for local people , our friends from the other side of the lake will take them.

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • My brother has spent many years pouring concrete, earns a fortune!! Most scientists I know, can't even work out how to use a razor in the morning!!

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    Earl of Suffolk

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • To be fair, Suffolk hasn't produced that many top-notch nuclear physicists. We tend to be, as my dear old mum used to say, "Suffolk born and Suffolk bred, strong of arm and weak of head." What's wrong with pouring concrete, anyway?

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    PC Plod

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Leiston is a fine place. I once knew a guy from Leiston who could burp "Land of Hope and Glory" with a pint of Adnams balanced on his head, without spilling a drop. That would be the pinnacle of Leiston's achievements, though, and to suggest that putting those dim-witted country chavs through a crash course in atom-splitting will solve their many, many problems is plain daft. Like my tune-burping mate.

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    PC Plod

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Surely we know have the golden opportunity to make sure that local schools are preparing their pupils to undertake the right examines and courses that can lead them to make the most of the job opportunities that will arise. We know which type of skilled workers will be needed, work with EDF to ensure college’s in Lowestoft and Ipswich are running the right skilled courses that could lead to apprenticeships, which could be completed during construction and commissioning of the new plant. I found the comment by beer-lover totally inappropriate we need to encourage not dismiss.

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    True blue

    Friday, April 11, 2014

  • Let's be honest, the average native of Leiston would probably find pouring concrete a bit of an intellectual challenge.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Friday, April 11, 2014

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