Suffolk's colleges have welcomed Sizewell C getting the green light, saying it will provide "opportunity for everyone".

Bosses at the nuclear power plant project, which was given the go-ahead by Kwasi Kwarteng yesterday, have vowed that it will create opportunities for Suffolk, including jobs, investment in skills and training, as well as opportunities for local firms.

Several Suffolk colleges and the University of Suffolk have agreed to create or alter courses in order to train would-be staff in preparation for the project.

A final investment decision – which EDF bosses hope will come next year – would unlock previously-agreed funding with these education providers.

A spokesman for the Eastern Colleges Group, which includes West Suffolk College, Abbeygate Sixth Form and One Sixth Form, said: “The Eastern Colleges Group is at the forefront of education in this region and boosting the local and national economy by providing skills for major projects, such as Sizewell C.

“We feel ideally placed to spearhead the skills supply chain, bringing nationally recognised qualifications and economic opportunities to local learners via our work with Sizewell C and its consortium.”

Emma Taylor, director of growth, innovation and strategic projects at Suffolk New College, said: “The planned investments and the partnership with Sizewell C will benefit future local students and apprentices, with an ambitious programme of collaborative activity delivered at Suffolk New College.”

Julia Bates, deputy principal of curriculum and strategic partnerships at East Coast College in Lowestoft, said: “East Coast College welcomes the news of the government approval of Sizewell C and is excited to help shape the future skills opportunities.

"This will include apprenticeships, adult retraining and progression for our study programme and degree students.

"The college will work with the supply chains and communities to ensure that there is opportunity for everyone."

East Anglian Daily Times: Andy Forbes, Eastern Powerhouse consultantAndy Forbes, Eastern Powerhouse consultant (Image: EASTERN POWERHOUSE)

Andy Forbes, a senior consultant at Eastern Powerhouse, a business-led organisation arguing for greater investment in the east, said:

"While there is no magic-bullet solution to the East`s skills shortages, development projects like Sizewell C can give us a fighting start.

"The construction and operation of the 3.2-gigawatt plant alone will create thousands of new apprenticeship opportunities for locals, as well as challenging, high-skilled jobs in areas like engineering, construction, hospitality, and catering.

"It also has the potential to kickstart a new era of funding and investment in the East of England, much of which could be directed towards levelling up a skills system that has for too long let-down learners."

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and Ipswich MP Tom Hunt have also praised the impact the project is expected to have on the employability and training of people in the county.