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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Pledge to use locals for Sellafield jobs

EVERY effort will be made to ensure Sellafield’s 500 new jobs go to locals – and there has been a rush of applications over the past few days.

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Generating new jobs: Energy Minister John Hayes made the official jobs announcement at a Westminster conference.Pictured with him is NMP general manager Graham McKendry (left) and Sellafield Ltd stakeholders relations director Rory O’Neill (right)

Sellafield Ltd yesterday reported “a strong interest” to the wide variety of vacancies advertised on its website but could not give any numbers at this stage.

A spokesman said: “We are very pleased with the response so far. Not all the 500 jobs are posted up yet. It’s a 12-month process but we do hope to fill most of them by next April.”

Lowest paid jobs currently advertised are for facility (process) operators (£25-£26,461) and the highest goes up to £55,000 in engineering/maintenance. Team leaders (operations and maintenance) can get up to £38,000, with electrical/mechanical craft jobs commanding £27,000-£31,521.

Graduates on the Sellafield Ltd scheme will be paid £28,420 with students on summer and engineering industrial placements receiving £13,940 pro rata for the number of weeks worked.

There are no guarantees that all the jobs will go to local people but community leaders say they will keep a close watch to make sure it’s ‘jobs for locals’ as far as possible.

Copeland Council leader Elaine Woodburn and MP Jamie Reed expect Sellafield to stick to its aim that “the vast majority of jobs are likely to be filled locally.”

Jamie Reed stressed: “I want to see as many people recruited locally as feasible. At the same time it wouldn’t be correct to employ people without the necessary skills and experience required.

“Legally no one can say that it must be a locals only recruitment but let’s be absolutely clear we want local skills, built-in experience used first and foremost.”

“And we will be checking up,” declared Elaine Woodburn.

At a press conference to announced the jobs which were first revealed in last week’s Whitehaven News, she said: “Some of these jobs are going to have training on site. Sellafield has a very good training process in place to do that. However we will be checking up, we will be coming back to Sellafield in 12 months time and ask them for details of the recruitment.”

Sellafield Ltd executive director Tom Foster responded: “That’s fair enough. We also know from the previous track record of hiring that there are skills and personnel available in the local area. We’ve actually kicked this off already, you can go to the Sellafield Ltd website and see some of the vacancies notices there. Based on early applications we know there are personnel available in the local area and who will be able to be hired for these jobs.”

In a statement, Sellafield Ltd’s managing director Todd Wright said: “The workforce at Sellafield is the best I’ve worked with in my career which takes in many nuclear sites around the world and these new additions will include some of our nuclear leaders of tomorrow.”

At Westminster, where he announced the jobs nationally Energy minister John Hayes pointed out: “500 new jobs at Sellafield shows the immense contribution of the nuclear sector to the UK economy, in particular that of West Cumbria.

And Baroness Verma (Under-Secretary of State at the Dept of Energy) added: “I welcome Sellafield’s moves to create these new jobs which won’t just accelerate clean up but will be a huge boost to the economy of West Cumbria.”

Prospect is Sellafield’s biggest staff union and site representative Peter Clements said: “The new people will be coming in to do vital work and we look forward to welcoming them. Hopefully it will be the start and a sign of things to come.

“I also hope the skills are out there locally and anyone who has what’s required will have no problem in applying for and getting the jobs.

“If a minimum amount of training has to be given we will be pushing for that, it’s something we will be talking to the company about.”

Craig Dobson, Unite craft convenor at Sellafield, said: “It’s very good news for the local economy and hopefully great news for West Cumbria’s employment prospects.

“However Unite are in discussions with the company on both the use of local labour and craft manning levels that are employed by Sellafield Ltd. We’ll continue to work with the management throughout this process.”

The jobs have been created through £700 million of efficiency savings. The site has received no extra public money. They come hard on the heels of the National Audit Office report which warned some of Sellafield’s deteriorating buildings posed significant risks to people and the environment.

But at the Whitehaven press conference Bill Hamilton for the NDA stressed that there was no connection.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “These jobs have been long in the planning, long in the execution, there’s no link at all.”

NDA chief executive John Clarke says the jobs “will make a significant contribution to accelerating clean up of the high hazard areas of Sellafield.”

Have your say

Of Course
I am questioning the sense of entitlement, that Sellafield owes us summat just because it is there. If it had been shoved on us recently then that might be a diffrent matter. And if it weren't there what would thousands of locals do?

Posted by Josie on 20 December 2012 at 16:07

Of Course
I am questioning the sense of entitlement, that Sellafield owes us summat just because it is there. If it had been shoved on us recently then that might be a diffrent matter. And if it weren't there what would thousands of locals do?

Posted by Josie on 20 December 2012 at 14:54

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