Topic 1 Introduction

When the Cottam Power Station in Nottinghamshire (UK) was lined up for closure, workers at the plant were worried about the future, but their union was keen to explore ways to transfer across workers to other parts of the energy sector – retaining these workers and their skills:

The Company had planned in detail for change and was convinced that they had the right approach so convincing them to pause and engage fully with the unions was difficult. But, after significant persuasion and meaningful conversations, we made their plans more flexible.

This resulted in workers being able to move across to similar roles in nuclear and renewables. Here workers would pick up the additional technology-specific skills as part of their induction. We also made sure that individuals completed training on raising their technical skills levels and in managing health and safety to equip them for roles both inside EdF and in the wider economy (Unionlearn, 2021).

By targeting support to meet individual needs, we improved flexibility and gave both the Company and individuals more time to consider which support best helped each redundant employee secure a better future. So, for one individual it may be relocation assistance to work at one of EDF’s other sites, for another it could be a trial secondment so the individual could test whether a new role suited them. In this way, Cottam set a higher standard, got beet results for our members and retain key skills in the sector.”

After having read the case of Cottam Power Station, think about your own job. Are there any challenges regarding a greener environment coming up? Will your company – and more important, yourself – be ready for environmental change?