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Mon June 17 2024

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EDF seeks ‘new social covenant’

14 Dec 11 The new generation of nuclear power stations will only be affordable if the workforce can be kept happy and industrial unrest avoided.

EDF Energy's Vincent de Rivaz
EDF Energy's Vincent de Rivaz

That’s the message from EDF Energychief executive Vincent de Rivaz, speaking to a meeting of suppliers in London yesterday.

Mr Rivaz said that productivity was a key element of affordability. He said: “Productivity is a measurement of the effectiveness of management. It is about management working better. The fact is we have a productivity challenge.And the link between productivity and quality is clear.

“Too often in the construction industry there have been entrenched positions. Management on one side and unions on the other. Therefore we want to create a new social covenant between us, our contractors and unions.”

To avoid conflict between management and unions, therefore, Mr Rivaz plans to focus on training to give the workforce  improved long term career opportunities.

“We must treat our people as skilled, valued workers, and create an environment in which they can be high performers meeting high standards,” he said. 

“These principles will help us to retain workers and give them pride in their work. If we get it right, we will create the legacy of a highly skilled workforce.”

EDF Energy has already committed £6m to local colleges and as reported yesterday it has committed a further £15m to establish a national training centre in partnership with Bridgwater College in Somerset to address skills shortages in the energy sector.

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