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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Sellafield jobs boost ‘should help local workers’

HUNDREDS of jobs created at Sellafield will not be a panacea for the economic problems in West Cumbria, an MP has warned.

Yesterday it was announced that 500 fresh jobs would be created at the nuclear site to help deal with high-hazard clean up operations.

The new jobs, which include 50 apprenticeships and 50 graduate and trainee schemes, will be funded by around £695m in efficiency savings made at the site.

Speaking following the announcement, Jamie Reed MP for Copeland, said: "This is tremendous news. It is incredibly important that these jobs are not being created by spending public money but by using existing resources.

"This will help to drive economic growth across the borough from Distington to Millom. It is particularly important to me that there's a local drive to fill these jobs."

Bill Hamilton, head of stakeholder relations at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which owns the Sellafield site, added: "Sellafield is the NDA's number one priority out of 19 sites.

"It takes more than half of the NDA's £3bn budget. The 500 jobs will go a long way to helping us implement plans that we have for dealing with the high hazard waste."

Mr Hamilton said the 100 or so trainee and apprentice level roles will involve training and help reinforce skills in the West Cumbrian economy.

However, the roles do have some caveats, with most requiring A to C grades in English, maths and science at GCSE.

Karl Connor, a Sellafield spokesman, said that the roles would help improve economic opportunities in the wider area.

Tom Foster, a director at Sellafield, , said: "These will all be Sellafield based jobs and they are not going to require any additional government funding.

"If you create 500 jobs you will stimulate more economic activity that will benefit everyone.

"Based on the early applications, we know the skills we need are here."

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