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Dispute over training could lead to industrial action at Hinkley Point C

HINKLEY Point C may be faced with industrial action because of a dispute over the possible use of ‘untrained’ electricians to carry out work at the nuclear power station.

Workers across the country occupied the offices of EDF energy late last month over ‘multi-skilling’ at the site where the station is being built at an estimated cost of £22.5 billion.

Members of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) attended the protests with Unite banners but the union said the protest was not official action.

A spokesperson for the NSSN said: “It is reported that an agreement to employ about 500 electrical apprentices had been reneged on and instead a training course for ‘Support Operatives’ is being put on. This would mean lower-paid unskilled workers being employed instead of skilled electricians.

One worker said: “If the plan to carry out safety-critical electrical work without qualified electricians is implemented, there will be blockades of Hinckley Point nuclear power station. This will escalate to industrial action.”

An EDF Energy spokesperson said: “Hinkley Point C and its trades union partners have agreements in place to develop skills and training, including a commitment to create 1,000 new apprenticeships.

“This progressive approach has been developed to maximise employment opportunities for local people and to help them develop new skills. It is backed by major investment in training facilities to help new entrants start their careers in construction.

“Productive talks are now taking place to reach agreement on the curriculum of the new training courses.”

In January EDF Energy said the planned opening of Hinkley Point C had been delayed by around six months, with costs likely to be £500 million more than previously thought.

They also said electricity generation is now expected to start in June 2026, not 2025, as previously estimated.

 

 

 

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