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Why you can now earn more working at Hinkley Point C

Why you can now earn more working at Hinkley Point C

Contributing approximately £280bn to the economy annually, the UK engineering industry is currently experiencing a prosperous period, and work on many of the proposed long-term engineering projects, such as Hinkley Point C, is well under way. However, with Britain having voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum and a construction phase that will span over a decade, fears that there won’t be enough skilled engineers to complete the project are beginning to surface.

Despite this concern over skills shortages, there’s some good news for engineers looking to work on Hinkley Point C. A new pay deal voted for by members of trade unions, Unite and GMB, has meant that skilled workers will see their rates rise to over £18 an hour and skilled civil engineering operatives can expect to earn up to £70,000 a year. Holiday pay, overtime rates, and pension contributions have also risen as a result.

Regional Secretary at Unite, Peter Hughes, commented:

“This is a landmark agreement which will now set the benchmark for pay rates on flagship construction projects throughout the UK. The pay rates agreed at Hinkley Point will provide a significant boost to the local economy, and, together with the ambitious apprenticeship programme on the project, will generate much needed skills boost and investment in the South West region.”

This investment in training and increase in pay rates for skilled workers show a strong commitment to addressing the skills gap in engineering for future generations.

Due to the scale of the project, Hinkley Point C is estimated to create around 25,000 employment opportunities throughout its construction phase. Project leaders are now addressing the potential skills gap by training engineering professionals in other sectors and investing more money in graduates and apprentices. Whilst it’s not a problem that can be easily solved, a big part of addressing the skills gap is to raise awareness of engineering as a profession to inspire more young people to choose it as a career. In fact, the promotion of engineering as a career choice to younger generations was seen as the most important factor in tackling the skills shortage for the engineers who took part in our Voice of the Workforce research last year. Recognising the need to boost the industry, the UK government recently launched their Year of Engineering campaign, which aims to encourage the next generation of talent to take on careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) industries. This is vital if post-Brexit Britain is to continue to take on and complete ambitious engineering projects in the years to come.

Hinkley is a huge, career-defining project for engineers to work on. The new benchmark pay rates for Hinkley engineers should help spark some interest in the nuclear industry from engineers in other sectors who have relevant, transferable skills especially within Quality, Planning, Project Management and Construction Management, which the project is currently recruiting for.