EDF Energy Somerset Chamber of Commerce SWMAS Business West

Recruitment specialists helping HPC

April 22, 2020

Work has gone full circle for former nuclear design engineer Phil Davies who has been playing an integral role at Hinkley Point C (HPC) for the last nine years, having worked at sister station Hinkley Point B.

Phil’s employment agency Abatec specialises in construction and engineering recruitment solutions for both temporary and permanent vacancies and his highly-skilled team of recruiters have been helping a number of HPC contractors find the right staff.

Phil, who is Managing Director of the Weston-super-Mare-based company, said: “We have an experienced and knowledgeable team of recruiters and we strive to be the number one choice for candidates and clients alike.

“We have the ability, knowledge and experience to deploy staff and work at short notice on a range of white- and blue-collar skilled labour.”

Abatec was invited to support the resourcing programme for the jetty build. Skill sets had to be identified across the Devon, Cornwall and Somerset areas at a time of construction growth and when labour was in high demand.

Abatec has also supported various other contractors on the following schemes at HPC:

  • Four park and ride sites – RK Bell and Skanska
  • Main Earthworks package – Kier/BAM
  • Concrete production facilities – Balfour Beatty
  • Avonmouth concrete segment factory and tunnel heads – Balfour Beatty
  • On site activities with the SIA framework – RK Bell and Skanska

Phil has an in-depth knowledge of the nuclear industry, having started as an apprentice at British Nuclear Fuel’s Head Office in Warrington, then working at many nuclear sites around the country before settling in Somerset to work on the Hinkley Point site.

Abatec worked closely with the Hinkley Supply Chain Team in order to get ‘Hinkley ready’ and prepare to deliver for contractors at site.

Robert Dyer, Abatec Associate Director, said the Hinkley Supply Chain Team had been instrumental in sourcing, preparing and facilitating supplier engagement and keeping them updated with on-site developments.

“Without attending the regular Supply Chain Team events, Abatec wouldn’t have the vital information to use in order to promote the services that we provide.

“We have a better understanding of the behaviour and culture on site, which is vital and assists us in identifying the right workforce,” Robert said.

He added: “Abatec would recommend any company to speak to the Hinkley Supply Chain Team, they do a fantastic job in getting local companies engaged on the project, the bespoke workshops they deliver are invaluable to anyone wishing to supply HPC.

“Other companies would benefit from utilising the vast information they have gathered from the key personnel on site; it’s something you would never be able to access without working with the Hinkley Supply Chain Team.”

While the company has been busy helping HPC take shape for almost a decade, Abatec has been established for more than 30 years and has a raft of high-profile schemes and projects to its name.

These include working with Skanska during the Somerset Levels flooding in 2014 to mobilise a project team to help local residents. Abatec supplied a site manager, public liaison officer, quantity surveyor and the site engineer.

In 2010, they worked with Weston-super-Mare Pier contactor John Sisk and Sons and was asked to recruit with a strong focus on health and safety. At the peak of the pier’s construction, Abatec supplied over 75 trades people and management staff.

Due to the high demands of the contract, they dedicated a full-time recruiter/account manager to ensure the efficiency of the supply of staff to the project and to reduce queries and project resource issues.

Phil said he was proud to be based in Somerset and to work with a range of clients, particularly at HPC: “It’s like a trip down memory lane having grown up in the nuclear industry and proud to have worked at a senior level on various design teams within the nuclear industry, including nuclear enrichment at Capenhurst, nuclear transportation at Risley, nuclear containment at Sellafield, nuclear decommissioning at Oldbury and, finally, extended life design at Hinkley Point B.

“Abatec has learnt a lot from our time at Hinkley Point and continues to do so, from the standards we must meet as a minimum, to the new systems and procedures we have implemented which the rest of the company has benefited from.

“I am proud that my company of 30 plus years, Abatec, has been successful in supplying the Hinkley Point C supply chain – this is a project that we have worked on for many years and that has only really made possible by engaging with the Hinkley Point Supply Chain Team.”

EDF Energy Heart of SW West of England LEP North Somerset Welsh Government