As 2023 comes to an end, the Sizewell C project is on the verge of the next big phase in its development. Over the last twelve months, there’s been an extraordinary amount of effort put into pre-commencement work, including everything from site clearance to surveys, archaeological work to relocating facilities.
The Sizewell C team are now looking towards 2024 and the start of the construction phase. Once construction work starts, a package of £250m – created to ensure legacy benefits from the project for local communities for decades to come – will become available in phases across the length of the project.
The impact of the fund could be transformational. A key piece of that funding jigsaw includes up to £22m for a far-reaching programme of work with Further Education colleges and training organisations, including bursaries for those struggling to access education and new centres of excellence to deliver the skills needed to work on Sizewell.
The Sizewell C strategy is about more than just meeting the project’s workforce requirements, it’s about shaping a legacy for the region and playing an active and influential role in regional skills development. There are some significant headlines as to how the project aims to achieve that:
- 1,500 apprenticeships;
- A SZC Jobs Service to ensure that local employment is maximised;
- Dedicated roles to coordinate the region’s response to skills requirements at Sizewell and beyond;
- The development of a Young SZC initiative – working alongside schools and colleges – to raise aspirations and help young people gain opportunities on the SZC project; and much more.
Getting local education organisations involved is crucial to leaving that legacy. The project has allocated a 12.8 million fund to invest in local colleges, HE and training providers to deliver the skills needs across the three main phases of the site build. The Sizewell C team has already signed five Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with local FE colleges, the University of Suffolk, and regional providers. There are plans to engage with, amongst others, Norfolk and Essex Education partners soon, too. And the team are working with National College for Nuclear, too, looking at ways these colleges and institutions can become a hub for NCfN training activity and apprenticeships in the East.
One particular focus is to maximise the opportunities for diverse and hard-to-reach groups – to ensure that life-enhancing career opportunities are available to everyone, regardless of background. This summer, the project signed an MoU with social partners – including Inspire, Access, Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality, Outreach Youth, Project 21, Women into Construction, and the Department for Work and Pensions – who will play a crucial role in helping to get Sizewell opportunities in front of the widest possible audience. More organisations are joining too, with Community Action Suffolk another recent signee.
Jack Raven, Regional Development Assistant Project Manager, said:
“These are great organisations who have the local expertise to help us access hard-to-reach groups – and this agreement is the start of a long and beneficial relationship between us.”
“For us, it’s about achieving our ambition to be a diverse and inclusive workplace. And for the wider community, it’s about making Sizewell C a realistic opportunity for employment, regardless of situation, to bridge opportunity gaps, and improve life outcomes in the area. I’m excited about the impact that we can have!”
You can keep up to date about the project’s development on its website: sizewellc.com