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Monday, 20 October 2014

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500 new jobs at Sellafield

FIVE hundred new jobs – mainly for locals – are on the way at Sellafield.

The news comes as a boost in Copeland as the area struggles to cope with the effects of public spending cuts.

The jobs are largely shopfloor posts to support urgent decommissioning work on higher hazard areas of the site.

Energy minister John Hayes will make an official announcement today (Thursday) but The Whitehaven News can exclusively reveal that all the jobs are new, permanent and largely meant for local people.

Ranging from process to skilled workers, the jobs cover general operations, craft, maintenance, safety and technical specialists, health physics, systems engineers, engineers and maintenance support through to “functions” personnel.

Around 100 will be for new apprentices and technical trainees.

Minister Mr Hayes said today: “The announcement of 500 jobs at Sellafield shows the immediate contribution of the nuclear sector to the UK economy in particular that of West Cumbria.

“Energy is central to our economic future and at the heart of all we do as a nation. Just as atoms collide in a nuclear reactor, the economic benefits of our nuclear renaissance will reverberate far and wide across the country.”

And fellow energy minister Baroness Verma said: “A great deal of progress has been made in a very short time at Sellafield to tackle the vast decommissioning challenge but there is still a huge amount of work to do.

“I welcome Sellafield’s move to create these new jobs which won’t just accelerate clean-up on site but will be a huge boost for the economy of West Cumbria.”

Copeland Council leader Elaine Woodburn said it was “a win-win” for the area.

“The jobs will provide a major boost for Copeland, an early Christmas present. They will help ensure the plant is dealing with the biggest hazards.

“It’s pleasing that the jobs include apprentice positions, which will help address youth unemployment concerns.”

Copeland MP Jamie Reed said: “It’s a tremendous boost. The vast majority of people in our area will be delighted as I am.

“Nuclear is not the only game in town but well-paid employment in any industry is a positive step and will help attract investment in other areas.”

Sellafield Ltd’s managing director Dr Todd Wright hailed his workforce as “the best I’ve worked with in my career, which takes in many nuclear sites around the world. These new additions will include some of our nuclear leaders of tomorrow.

“I’m very proud this announcement has been made.

“We are delivering our mission of accelerating safe and efficient clean-up. Because of the progress we are making and the efficiencies we have achieved we are now able to focus even more funding on acceleration work and this new influx of staff will mean we are able to do work more quickly.”

NDA chief executive John Clarke said: “The creation of these 500 new jobs is excellent news for West Cumbria and will make a significant contribution to accelerating the clean-up of the high hazard areas of Sellafield – the NDA’s No.1 priority.”

For Nuclear Management Partners, Sellafield’s parent body company, general manager Graham McKendry said: “This news leaves no-one in any doubt about NMP’s commitment to Sellafield, West Cumbria and the NDA’s mission to accelerate clean-up while driving up standards.”

Some of the 500 posts will be specifically to support the decommissioning of Calder Hall.

It is hoped most of the jobs will be filled by the spring although it will be an ongoing 12-month process.

Sellafield Ltd will now be able to bring forward more of the NDA’s crucial work in reducing high hazards on the site.

Funding to create the jobs has been made possibly through £700million worth of efficiencies in a programme led by Nuclear Management Partners, the site’s parent body organisation.

Energy minister Mr Hayes will announce the jobs at the Nuclear Industry Association’s annual Energy Choices conference at Central Hall, Westminster. Jobs will be advertised locally.

There will be some specialist roles for which people will be expected to be trained up, but others where training will be given. The jobs will be advertised locally with the emphasis on local recruitment, it is stressed.

A deal which will see about 20 Sellafield staff transferred to work in the Copeland Borough Council’s offices in Whitehaven soon after Christmas was finalised this week.

Neither Sellafield Ltd or the council will disclose financial details due to “commercial confidentality”.

Have your say

Why do they have to be local, surely this is discrimination?? if your qualifications and skills match and you are willing to move i would rather they beemployed than some of the locals...who may not fit the bill...

Posted by Dave Smith on 7 December 2012 at 15:34

Whilst I am happy to see jobs coming to the area, I am not sure there is any value for money for me an ordinary tax payer. I have four friends who started working for Sellafield Ltd in recent years , Health Physics, Process and Admin, all tell a similar story. They didn't believe the stories about the place before they started but the reality is they could do their jobs in half the time and get bored with the lack of meaningful work. I have no doubt there are some staff there do a full days work but many do not.

Posted by ATaxPayer on 7 December 2012 at 13:28

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