Engineers stood down at the Wylfa nuclear power plant could be given jobs on capital projects in North Wales if a new funding scheme is agreed between the project’s developer and the government.
The scheme will enable the workers to stay in the region so that they can quickly move back onto the Wylfa project if it restarts.
Plans for the plant on the island of Anglesey were put on ice last month after Hitachi expressed concern about the government contribution to the project.
Around 370 people were employed at the site when the decision was made to pause the project. Construction and operation of the plant were expected to have added 9,000 jobs to the region in total, including 850 permenant staff to run the plant after its completion.
Most of the 370 workers are expected to be let go, with a skeleton crew kept on to maintain the site.
Welsh government minister for economy and transport Ken Skates said it was essential to keep the skills capacity close to the project to enable the projet to restart.
“Whether and when the project resumes depends on the ability to maintain capacity on the island, and skills capacity will be essential. We must ensure there are opportunities to keep people in the region and employed in high value jobs,” said Skates.
“What I have done is ask all my colleagues in government to scan across all capital programmes to see what new opportunities there are, first and foremost on Anglesey but also right across North Wales so that during this pause period there is not a lack of opportunity for people to be employed, especially in those sectors that will allow a future and easy transition into the nuclear programme.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Updates on the operation and status of the Western Link are a matter for its owners, National Grid and Scottish Power Transmission. We are in close contact with both companies, and hope that the line can be repaired as soon as possible.
Last month, chancellor Philip Hammond said that the government was working on a new financing model for the project. It is hoped this will persuade Hitachi to reconsider its decision.
Despite the project’s suspension, work to complete the development consent order for the project is continuing so the project can restart quickly if a new financial plan is agreed.
Welsh secretary Alun Cairns also recently made an official visit to Japan, during which he met with representatives from Hitachi to discuss the plan.
Image above shows engineers at Hinkley Point C.
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