'Sizeable' boost for college as deal reached with Sizewell C

From left Sarah Hancock, HR director at Sizewell C, and Suffolk New College principal Viv Gillespie

From left Sarah Hancock, HR director at Sizewell C, and Suffolk New College principal Viv Gillespie at the signing of the memorandum of understanding - Credit: Suffolk New College

A college has struck a "sizeable" deal with Sizewell C which will enable students to be trained at the planned new nuclear power station.

The memorandum of understanding between Suffolk New College and the proposed energy plant at Leiston means it will also receive support from the proposed power plant to develop a range of educational initiatives from a civil engineering campus and a welding centre to a Sustainable Agri-food Skills Centre at Suffolk Rural, which occupies its Otley campus.

The educational body's College on the Coast sites at Leiston and Halesworth are earmarked for a Civil Engineering Skills Centre. The plant will also work with the college to enhance its digital skills provision across its sites and building on its existing Tech Campus in Ipswich.

The Sustainable Agri-food Skills Centre will augment the college’s existing strengths in agriculture, livestock management, horticulture, landscape construction, and land-based engineering.

There is also scope to develop an Electrical Engineering Centre by enhancing facilities available at Leiston and Ipswich, the two parties said.

The deal was signed at the college's Chefs’ Whites restaurant at the college's centre in Ipswich.

Sizewell C HR director Sarah Hancock welcomed the deal. “Sizewell C will boost skills, training and employment in Suffolk and we are committed to work with local education providers to ensure that the right skills are in place for local people to access the opportunities the project will deliver,” she said.

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Suffolk New College principcal Viv Gillespie said the planned investments and the partnership with Sizewell C would benefit future local students and apprentices.

“The college supports employers who require a locally sourced skilled workforce through the provision of technical, vocational and professional qualifications,” she added.

In addition to the deal, Sizewell C has set up a Jobs Service , an employment and training prospectus to provide a pathway from education and training to jobs with the project, an interactive careers platform to support youngsters keen to know about jobs at the plan. It has also placed some early apprenticeships in welding, pipe fitting, project controls, formwork carpentry and surveying.