Talent 2030

The EDF Energy “Inspire” Education Programme: Building More than a Power Station

The EDF Energy Nuclear New Build “Inspire” Education Programme is preparing young Somerset people for the opportunities that will arrive with the construction and operation of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.

The innovative programme aims to inspire young people to continue to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM subjects) building a sustainable legacy for the future through a pipeline from education to skills and into future long term employment.

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EDF Energy graduate Katie Bannister at the Yr9 Exeter University Residential

“Inspire” has been developed to directly support EDF Energy’s plans for the construction of the Hinkley Point C New Nuclear Power Station. The station will require over 5,000 skilled workers to construct and when complete power some 5 million UK homes for 60 years with secure, low carbon energy.

  • Already, over 300 exciting and engaging activities for all age groups have been delivered across more than 100 schools in Somerset.
  • 45,000 young people have already been inspired and motivated by the team to explore and learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
  • The programme supports an educational journey from education all the way into sustainable jobs of the future through a series of varied and targeted activities across all age groups from 4 – 24.
  • The Programme also supports continued professional development of educational professionals. The work is creating a network of innovative and inspirational teachers, each working on subject materials that relate to new opportunities for students whilst developing the teacher’s own skills and knowledge.

Nuclear new build projects such as Hinkley Point C in Somerset will require skilled workers with a good foundation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. However, increased demand for skills in this area, coupled with a lower take-up of STEM related subjects, is contributing to a predicted future skills gap. As an example, the Sector Skills Councils estimate that the engineering sector will need over 2,200,000 extra workers in the next 5-10 years .

As a result of this challenge, the EDF Energy “Inspire” Education Programme is preparing young Somerset people for the fantastic opportunities that will arrive with the construction and future operation of Hinkley Point C.

Tom Thayer, the Inspire Education Programme Advisor has steered the programme since 2013; “For me, this Project is about creating much more than a new power station – it is an opportunity for the region to become a leader in the sustainable low-carbon industry of the future, with a workforce ready to deliver not only the projects of today but for generations to come. The Inspire programme enables us to really make a difference”

The new station is planned to operate for 60 years, so the workers of tomorrow could well be in the classrooms of today. Through an exciting range of initiatives such as the Year 9 Involve and Year 10 Pathways, “Inspire” is raising aspirations, enriching the current curriculum and providing clear pathways to employment whilst helping to address the nation’s current skills gap.

The Year 9 Involve programme is just one of a progressive set of initiatives that are currently being delivered in schools across Somerset. A range of hands on activities, challenges and support materials help the children to continue building invaluable life skills, provide insight into the vast opportunities that studying STEM subjects can provide, experience hands on engineering related challenges and gain an appreciation of the nuclear industry.

For more information, and to explore ways of getting involved, contact the Education Team: inspireeducation@edfenergy.com

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