Unite the union, which represents construction and energy workers, has strongly welcomed the announcement today (Thursday 17 September) that EDF has increased by 50 per cent the number of apprentices that will be trained on the Sizewell C nuclear power station project.

EDF has said that providing that it receives the go ahead to build Sizewell C it will recruit 1,500 apprentices. The previous commitment was for 1,000 apprentices.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “This is excellent news for young people throughout East Anglia who will have the opportunity to develop skills for life.

“It is now absolutely imperative that the government not only gives Sizewell C the go ahead but also does everything in its power to ensure the project starts as soon as possible.

 “It is essential that a skills bridge is created from Hinkley Point to Sizewell to ensure that the skills and the knowledge that have been learnt on the initial project can be transferred to Sizewell and are not lost for ever.

 “Nuclear power is essential to meeting the UK’s future energy needs, yet successive governments have failed to provide the impetus to get the new generation of nuclear power stations built. That has got to change if we are going to keep the lights on.”

The positive news about apprentices is especially welcome after the severe setback for new nuclear projects this week, when Hitachi confirmed that it would not go ahead with building a new power station at Wylfa in Anglesey. As a result Unite has called for the government to bring forward a white paper on energy.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

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For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.