Making Work Work: EDF,jobs and training for communities - Business in the Community

Making Work Work: EDF,jobs and training for communities

EDF, the country’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity, is bringing long-term socio-economic benefits to communities around its sites as it leads a net zero transition.

As part of its plans for building new nuclear power stations in the UK, EDF is delivering meaningful, long-term socio-economic benefits to the local and regional communities around its sites. New nuclear power stations will be crucial in providing secure, low-carbon electricity in a net-zero world. They will also deliver significant employment opportunities, skills development routes and a huge economic boost for businesses across the local and regional areas.

About the company

EDF is the country’s biggest generator of zero-carbon electricity and supports its customers in decarbonising their energy usage. Its purpose is to help Britain achieve net zero.

EDF is a leading investor and industrial developer of wind, nuclear and solar generation alongside energy storage and other new technologies to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The issue

Providing jobs and training for local communities around projects is key to boosting local economic growth. It helps increase overall productivity, and social cohesion, enhance wellbeing and reduce poverty. Companies can take opportunities by investing in a skilled workforce which is less expendable, more adaptable to change and better able to contribute to productivity growth and the creation of new jobs. Local jobs and training enable us to address the skills shortage that many UK businesses are facing and the lack of industrial capability.

What EDF did

EDF is making a positive socio-economic contribution by supporting local and regional communities to thrive, building the capabilities of local businesses and driving longer-term economic development. Collectively, this work is helping the net zero transition.

The new nuclear projects, Hinkley Point C which is in construction and Sizewell C in planning, not only support the transition to net zero but also deliver huge social and economic benefits. They are already creating thousands of jobs and training opportunities in the communities that host the projects.

Job creation at Hinkley Point C

Hinkley Point C is currently supporting around 22,000 jobs across the UK. It is estimated that 71,000 jobs will be supported by the end of the construction. The South West, where Hinkley Point C is being built, will particularly benefit from the employment opportunities available with 14,400 jobs expected throughout the construction phase. 

Working in partnership with Local Authorities, Hinkley Point C has set up a Jobs Service which is helping local people into employment. It has supported 1,500 local people into work so far. Local people are given priority access to job opportunities on the project, with vacancies posted 48 hours before they are opened to wider recruitment channels.

Local employment hubs, made possible by Hinkley Point C, are supporting hundreds more people into work. Located in relatively isolated towns such as Minehead, Stogursey and Williton, employment hubs have already supported over 500 people with job applications, CV writing guidance and careers advice.

Training for Hinkley Point C

Hinkley Point C is increasing social mobility through its recruitment, training schemes and supply chain. It is also helping to address critical skills shortages across the UK.

The project has introduced training schemes open to all candidates, regardless of their backgrounds or previous experience. Hinkley Point C has already hit its goal of training 1,000 apprentices during the power station’s construction phase. The target was set during the planning stage of the project, as part of its commitment to maximising opportunities for local people. Apprentices have been trained in a wide range of disciplines, from engineering and construction management to HR and catering.

Three new training Centres of Excellence in Bridgwater and Cannington will help local people join the next phase of the power station’s construction. The centres will enhance local career prospects and ensure Somerset has the skills needed for the next generation of net zero projects. Many trainees live in the local area and will take advantage of the jobs being created for Hinkley Point C’s next phase.

The Hinkley Point C ‘Inspire’ education programme and Young HPC network have supported thousands of students across Somerset schools. Hinkley Point C is a member of the West Somerset Opportunity area which specifically tackles the challenges of social mobility. Hinkley Point C invested £400,000 into a new Education Business Partnership which is successfully linking local businesses with young people within the region.

Jobs and training at Sizewell C

The progress at Hinkley Point C gives EDF confidence to develop a replica station at Sizewell C and deliver benefits for skills, jobs, the supply chain and local communities in the East of England. Sizewell C will create thousands of well-paid local jobs and opportunities for businesses across Suffolk. Like Hinkley Point C, the project will support an estimated 71,000 jobs during construction.

Sizewell C will train 1,500 apprentices, providing training and skills to strengthen the workforce. Apprentices will be trained in construction and mechanical roles including engineering, welding, project management and steel-fixing. The project is working closely with further education providers in Suffolk to ensure the skills are in place for local people to work on the project.

Impacts and outcomes

  • Job creation: Hinkley Point C is currently supporting around 22,000 jobs across the UK.
  • Training opportunities: Hinkley Point C has already hit its goal of training 1,000 apprentices during the construction phase.
  • Social mobility: The Hinkley Point C Jobs Service has supported 1,500 local people into work.

For more information on how EDF operates as a responsible business, read its sustainable business update.

How Business in the Community (BITC) helped EDF

EDF is a founding member of BITC. Membership provides access to member-only tools, guides, case studies, networking opportunities and events.

EDF joined the East of England Climate Change and Employment and Skills Working Groups and the Southwest Regional Leadership Board. Regional leadership boards enable senior professionals to influence the local debate, shape the agenda for action and work with other leaders to innovate and create more sustainable livelihoods and prosperous communities.