Hinkley contractors scrap plans to “deskill” electricians

Grant Prior 6 months ago
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Controversial plans to introduce a new grade of electrical operative at the massive Hinkley Point C construction site have been scrapped.

Electricians stage a protest at EDF offices
Electricians stage a protest at EDF offices

Client EDF ordered the climb down by the joint venture of Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick and NG Bailey following a long-running  campaign of demonstrations  by rank-and-file electricians targeting sites and offices.

Balfour and NG Bailey were looking to introduce training courses for ‘Electrical Support Operatives’.

But trained sparks and Unite dismissed the move as a “deskilling” of the industry.

Balfour Beatty Bailey joint venture statement said Electrical Support Operative plans have now been “permanently withdrawn” by EDF and “do not form part of our current or future development plans.”

Unite national officer for construction, Jerry Swain, said: “This statement is welcomed and provides clear clarification that the companies are committed to the JIB and the future training of fully qualified electricians.

“Unite’s position was clear from the outset that it would oppose any efforts to weaken the skillset and training of electricians.

“Now that this matter has been put to bed it is imperative that everyone involved in the construction industry commits to work together

“This must include how we improve and increase the training of workers to ensure that the sector is an attractive and financially rewarding option for workers.

“Unite has during this period simply sought to protect our highly qualified members against any dilution of their skills.”

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