A RECENT report has shown the impact of Hinkley Point C on local communities in Somerset.

Carried out by Southwest LEP, the study shows the 25-39 population has increased by almost 50% in Sedgemoor, with young people opting to stay and work in West Somerset, instead of moving to bigger cities.

Bridgwater's productivity levels have been growing faster than anywhere else in Somerset, and are well above the national average. There has been a 28% increase in local employment and a 100% increase in large companies setting up.

The data revealed in the study astonished a headteacher from Suffolk, whose school is situated near to Sizewell C nuclear power station site. 

Dan Mayhew, Principal of Alde Valley Academy in Suffolk, was inspired by how schools in the Sedgemoor and Bridgwater area are preparing their students for work at Britain's biggest environmental project - Hinkley Point C.

Mr Mayhew travelled south to Somerset this week, along with Craig Morrison, the new CEO for the Waveney Valley Academies Trust.

The pair met with Peter Elliot, the Trust Leader for Bridgwater College Academy, the host All-through Academy for Hinkley Point C.

They were accompanied by Fiona McMillan, former Principal of Bridgwater and Taunton College, who is now education advisor to Sizewell C, in Suffolk.

The group toured the school and learned about the way students are prepared for further education, which includes higher education degree apprenticeships in Bridgwater.

Andy Berry, Principal of Bridgwater and Taunton College, has years of experience working with Hinkley Point C to ensure his students are trained in the skills needed by the project.

Mr Mayhew and Mr Morrison also visited the Bridgwater Construction Skills Centre, which has trained many of the current Hinkley Point C workforce.

Speaking about the visit to Bridgwater, Craig Morrison said: "Visiting the Bridgwater College campus and Bridgwater College Academy has shown us the potential to make the most of upcoming careers opportunities for young people in Suffolk, by working in partnership with employers and engaging our students in a rich science, engineering and technology curriculum.”

Chris Young, Head of the Employment Affairs Unit at Sizewell C, said: “This visit has been a great opportunity to show the positive benefits that Sizewell C can deliver working alongside local schools and colleges. 

"We look forward to continuing our work in Suffolk with education providers to deliver a lasting boost in local skills and training.“