Union in talks with nuclear project as report reveals equality could take 200 years

Artist's impression issued by EDF of plans for the  Hinkley Point C nuclear power station
Artist's impression issued by EDF of plans for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station

A trade union has arranged a summit with major construction firms working in a  nuclear project after it was revealed in a new report that gender equality could take up to 200 years in the sector.

GMB Union said last night that the new analysis predicts workforce equality in the construction sector will arrive in 2194.

The workers union said it had arranged a summit with firm working on the proposed £18 billion Hinkley Point C project to discuss “the lack of women in construction”.

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner  also publicly backed the move.

GMB said it will meet HPC bosses and contractor Doosan Babcock to discuss ways to recruit more women on the construction of the huge nuclear reactor.

ONS data also shows that just one in eight construction workers are female – the lowest share of any broad industrial group.

Jude Brimble, GMB national secretary, described the findings as “a sobering reminder of the scale of the challenge facing the industry”.

According to the new figures, there are an estimated 60,972 more women in the construction industry than there were in 2009 – but as a proportion of the overall workforce the female share of the labour force increased by just 2.1 per cent.

Andy Colquhoun, Doosan Babcock chief executive said: “Historically the engineering construction industry in the UK has been male dominated.

“Increasing awareness and creating routes for women to enter the industry and contribute to a project such as HPC is not only the smart thing to do but also morally right.

“The Hinkley Point C project allows us to progress this further in partnership with our client EDF and with our Trade Union partners.”

Nigel Cann, HPC delivery director, said:“At Hinkley Point C, we aim to create an environment which supports more diverse and inclusive teams and to increase the number of women in the construction phase and beyond.”

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