More than 1,400 people have registered their interest in working at the planned Sizewell C nuclear power station, EDF has revealed.
The energy firm also said it has increased the number of apprenticeships it plans to offer from 1,000 to 1,500.
The news comes after EDF launched its ‘Young Sizewell C’ scheme designed to provide students in East Anglia with future job opportunities, should the station get approval to be built..
EDF bosses have said they are “really encouraged” by the interest as they moved forward with the £20billion project.
Earlier this week, more than 30 business and education leaders wrote to prime minister Boris Johnson urging the government to approve the station, highlighting the “huge local employment” benefits it could bring.
But EDF’s plans have been criticised by campaigners against the scheme, who have voiced concerns over its impact on wildlife, the environment and Suffolk’s tourism trade.
Julia Pyke, director of Sizewell C, said: “Thousands of local people stand to gain well-paid employment from the construction and operation of Sizewell C, just as we have experienced at Sizewell B.
“There will be a wide range of jobs available in all areas of the project and we are really encouraged to see so many local people already registering their interest to work with us.
“Many of the jobs will be in key legacy roles, such as civils and mechanical and electrical engineering.
“We will make access to those jobs easy for local people through a jobs service and the Young Sizewell C programme, which will give young people a route into pre-employment training and areas of support that maximise their life and employment opportunities.”
However, campaigners against the Sizewell C project believe a number of jobs would be lost in other sectors, such as tourism, if the station is built.
Alison Downes, of Stop Sizewell C, said: “We don’t deny that Sizewell C would create jobs, but jobs would be lost in tourism and existing business would be impacted by traffic congestion and losing workers to the project.
“Moreover, three-quarters of EDF’s 8,500 workforce would come from outside the region, especially from those building Hinkley Point C. They would need accommodation, creating social problems and straining local services.”