Leiston Labour Party says Suffolk people should get priority for Sizewell C jobs

Marine investigative work being carried out for the Sizewell C project.

Marine investigative work being carried out for the Sizewell C project. - Credit: Archant

Labour politicians in an east Suffolk town want the maximum number of construction jobs possible to go to local people if the Sizewell C nuclear power station is built.

They believe this would help to reduce the size of the controversial accommodation campus to be built near Eastbridge to house around 2,400 workers, and give a bigger boost to the local economy with permanent residents and their families likely to spend more money in the area.

Leiston Labour Party has highlighted its concerns over the workforce as part of its response to EDF Energy’s stage two consultation on the £14billion twin-reactor project.

Party chairman Steve Marsling said: “EDF is proposing that 36% of workers will be based at home – ie living in Suffolk or able to commute here easily – but we think that is way too small.

“We would like to see that figure somewhere nearer 60%.

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“We believe the construction jobs will bring the biggest benefits to Suffolk if they are jobs for Suffolk people – jobs should be ring fenced up to a 50-mile radius to give people here first chance before they are advertised nationally.”

Mr Marsling said all workers should be of the highest quality and wanted no zero hour contracts or agency labour, and strict controls over any sub-letting of contracts.

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He said: “Nuclear energy is too important and dangerous for casual lump labour.”

Party members were also concerned that the project should provide a legacy for the area – and believe some good quality housing should be built for workers which could remain after Sizewell C is complete.

They would also like to see extra sports facilities built in the town and a railway line and station that could for public use and for workers.

EDF said while it would try to use as many home-based workers as possible, and would work with relevant stakeholders to prepare a skills, education and employment strategy, which would include measures to boost local skills to help place trained people into suitable roles.

However, the company said: “A proportion of the construction workforce would require skills that are not available in large enough quantities amongst the existing population of Suffolk and the surrounding counties.”

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