Sizewell C has today signed agreements to provide ‘best in class’ employment conditions for the thousands of construction workers who will build Britain’s next nuclear power station.

Three Solidarity Agreements were signed this morning between Sizewell C, its Tier 1 contractors, and the GMB and Unite trades unions.

They set out how Sizewell C will promote a strong safety culture while providing workers with the highest possible standards of health, safety and welfare services, including mental health services.

The project will also offer high standard accommodation and promote a diverse and inclusive working environment.

The agreements describe the standards and behaviours expected of everyone involved in building Sizewell C, including a ‘right first time, every time’ approach to construction.

Sizewell C’s Joint Managing Director, Nigel Cann said:

“Sizewell C is one of the most important energy projects in the UK and we want it to be one of the best places to work. These balanced agreements will help build a spirit of partnership by giving everyone on the project common goals and clear working arrangements. They put us in an even stronger position as we gain momentum and prepare for site earthworks.”

Solidarity agreements already underpin industrial relations at Sizewell’s sister project Hinkley Point C where more than 10,000 people now work at the construction site in Somerset. The project has set new employment standards for construction. Its latest socio-economic report shows the dramatic effect it is having on skills and capability in the nuclear industry.

Sizewell C will build on these achievements by applying similar terms and conditions at its site near Leiston in Suffolk. The project expects to employ around 7,900 people during peak construction, a third of whom will come from the local area. Sizewell C will also create at least 1,500 apprenticeships and thousands more jobs in supply chain companies across the UK.

Charlotte Brumpton-Childs, GMB National Officer, said:

“Signing this collective agreement for Sizewell C is another step closer to a net zero energy grid. GMB members are proud to be part of the team delivering clean energy for the UK and today’s agreement represent some of the most progressive within the construction sector.”

Jerry Swain, Unite National Officer, said:

“Unite are pleased to sign this agreement which builds on the previous success at Hinkley Point C. It clearly sets out the standards for the future which other employers in this field should seek to achieve. Agreements like this prove that collaborative working of unions with employers is the answer on major infrastructure projects – it’s good for workers and good for the construction industry alike.”

Today’s agreements cover pay and conditions for employees of the Tier 1 contractors who make up the project’s Civil Works (CWA) Alliance, the Mechanical, Electrical and Heating (MEH) Alliance and site operations teams.

The agreements will be implemented as different teams begin operating at the site and will apply throughout the construction of the power station.

Peter Anusas, Civil Works Alliance Director, said:

“The CWA is committed to maximising opportunities for local people and the wider UK population. As such, our legacy will not only be supplying clean energy for 6 million homes but advancing the nuclear capable skilled workforce who will contribute to the renaissance of the nuclear energy industry throughout the UK.”

Mark Dearden, MEH Alliance Director, said:

“While the Mechanical, Electrical and HVAC on-site installation scope will not commence for several years, today’s agreement signifies a major milestone for the Alliance Industry Partners and establishes a really critical, solid and consistent rewards platform for all our employees.”

Approximately 600 people are currently working at the Sizewell C construction site but the workforce is expected to increase to around 1,500 by the end of 2024. Recent activity has focused on clearing the site for full construction, carrying out archaeological surveys and local mitigation work. Preliminary earthworks to prepare for the construction of a concrete batching plant and water desalination facility are due to begin in the coming weeks.

Sizewell C is majority owned by the Government and is a key part of the plan to build up to 24GW of new nuclear capacity in the UK by 2050. A process to raise private equity from investors continues to make good progress and a Final Investment Decision is expected later this year.