Horizon announces £1m investment in local training facilities

Duncan Hawthorne (Horizon CEO), Glyn Jones (Gr?p Llandrillo Menai CEO), Sophie Wright (apprentice), Greg Evans (Safety and Generation Director, Horizon), Luke Williams (apprentice) and Kieron Salter (apprentice)
Duncan Hawthorne (Horizon CEO), Glyn Jones (Gr?p Llandrillo Menai CEO), Sophie Wright (apprentice), Greg Evans (Safety and Generation Director, Horizon), Luke Williams (apprentice) and Kieron Salter (apprentice)

Horizon Nuclear Power has announced the provision of £1m of funding for Gr?p Llandrillo Menai to help to facilitate the design, construction and associated infrastructure of a brand new purpose-built, state of the art Engineering Centre adjacent to the existing Energy Centre at its Llangefni Campus on Anglesey.

The announcement follows a pledge of £5m towards a £10m ’Engineering Centre of Excellence’ at Coleg Menai by the Welsh Government in 2015. This will see the Coleg being developed to support the Isle of Anglesey County Council’s Energy Island Programme and its key priority of developing a robust local skills base to capitalise on employment opportunities afforded by Wylfa Newydd.

Horizon will also provide technical support and advice to Coleg Menai, as the facility will cater for the technical training of Horizon’s apprentices. Initially Horizon’s first cohort of apprentices who join the company this September, will start their technical training at existing facilities in Coleg Menai’s Bangor Campus, and will relocate to Llangefni once the new facility is complete.

Duncan Hawthorne, Horizon’s Chief Executive Officer said: “I’m delighted to announce this landmark funding provision to Gr?p Llandrillo Menai. The construction of this state of the art facility in Llangefni will be central to our training provision for local people, giving them the world class skills that we’ll need. This announcement underlines our commitment to develop local opportunities for the Wylfa Newydd project, and is the first of many initiatives that will follow as our plans develop over the coming months and years.”

The investment builds on a long-standing relationship between Horizon and Gr?p Llandrillo Menai, which has seen the facilitation of a Heavy Plant Training Centre, upskilling of the Gr?p’s staff in nuclear matters, significant funding for the Cwmni Prentis Menai apprenticeship scheme over a number of years and recently Horizon’s own apprenticeship scheme.

In collaboration with the Welsh Government, the Energy Island Programme and the wider Gr?p, Horizon’s contribution will ensure that young people across north Wales will have the opportunity to train in a state of the art environment enabling them to prepare for a career at Wylfa Newydd with Horizon.

“We warmly welcome Horizon’s generous investment in our new resources” said Gr?p Llandrillo Menai Chief Executive, Glyn Jones. “We are working closely with Horizon Nuclear Power and other partners to try to ensure that as many local people as possible gain the world-class skills required to work at Wylfa Newydd. The investment supports this ongoing work and is a huge vote of confidence by Horizon in our work we are doing.”

Responding to the announcement Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James said: “I welcome Horizon’s investment in the new engineering centre at Coleg Menai, and look forward to the College working closely with Horizon to develop facilities capable of delivering high quality training to local people on Anglesey.”

Horizon has been steadily making progress in engaging with the education sector during the last two years in particular, promoting interest in the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) in schools across Anglesey and Gwynedd.

“In addition to the launch of our apprenticeship scheme, we’ve also launched Horizon’s Graduate Scheme which has already successfully attracted candidates from North Wales” said Sasha Davies, Head of Strategic Development for Horizon. “Our relationship with Bangor University continues to grow, and we very much see our overall engagement at all levels of the education sector as essential for ensuring we can make the most of our local talent, and grow our future workforce locally.”