The UK Social Mobility Awards were set up to recognise organisations that are prioritising social mobility, for example through recruitment processes and progression programmes, outreach within the local community, or by developing innovative ways to create change.
The Hinkley Connection Project combines the construction of the infrastructure needed to connect cleaner, homegrown energy into the UK electricity network in the southwest with a community support programme, designed to create a lasting positive legacy, whilst inspiring the next generation of engineers.
"With STEM careers such as engineering often hindered early on by poor social mobility, we seek to engage a diverse array of young people in STEM subjects. We’re also committed to balancing the impact of our construction activities", says Jonathan Richardson, Corporate Social Responsibility Officer for National Grid.
It’s so important that children have access to opportunities no matter their background.
The Hinkley Connection community programme provides:
- Funding/resources for local educators, engaging a diverse array of children in STEM subjects and the future of energy.
- Resources to help combat unemployment, including skills training provisions, help local people find sustainable employment.
- Opportunities for smaller local businesses to win significant construction contracts.
- Funding/volunteering for community projects, including conservation and charity activities.
Since 2018, when construction began on the project:
- 321,000 children, including 65,000 children from disadvantaged backgrounds, have been supported with over £844,000 worth of STEM activities/funding.
- 300+ adults have engaged with skills programmes and gained recognised qualifications
- £3 million+ has been reinvested into communities via local construction contracts.
- £1 million+ has been donated in community grants to 74 different local projects.
- In 2021, 780 hours of volunteering were completed by National Grid employees along the Hinkley Connection route.
James Goode, Project Director for National Grid said, "We’re delighted to accept this award. It recognises National Grid’s ambition to use our Hinkley Connection Project to inspire engineers of the future and leave a positive and lasting legacy for the communities we are working closest to.
"It’s so important that our children and young people have access to opportunities that will broaden their horizons and set them on a path to become whatever they want to be, no matter their background. We’re privileged to be able to play our part in that and I want to thank everyone on the Hinkley team for their dedication to this element of our project."