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Nucleargraduates 2019 chemistry office for nuclear regulation

Salary: £26,000 to £27,000 per annum

Location: Nationwide

Application Deadline: EXPIRED

Job Type: Graduate scheme

Contract Type: Contract

The job

Summary of the job role

Established by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), nucleargraduates is a ground-breaking graduate programme created to develop a new generation of talented graduates for the UK nuclear industry. Sponsored by a by a formidable partnership of companies including Rolls-Royce, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and Sellafield Ltd amongst others.

The two-year programme consists of three secondments chosen by you. You can expect to find yourself working with Government, on-site, with the private sector supply chain and regulatory authorities. There is also the possibility of undertaking an international secondment, to date our graduates have completed secondments with over 100 different organisations and bodies across the nuclear industry, both at home and abroad. A dedicated mentor, assigned to you upon starting the programme, will help you plan a two-year programme tailored to you and your development goals.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) independently regulates nuclear safety and security at 36 nuclear licensed sites across the UK. They are also responsible for the regulation of transport and the safeguarding of nuclear and radioactive materials with a duty is to ensure that the nuclear industry controls its hazards effectively, has a culture of continuous improvement and maintains high standards.

The nuclear industry is undergoing rapid change and ONR’s role as a regulator is vital in ensuring new nuclear facilities are designed, built and operated to the highest standards, and in a manner that improves public confidence without compromising safety or security. Also overseeing the decommissioning of nuclear sites and cooperating with international regulators their work is critical to the protection of society at large.

The Office of Nuclear Regulation is looking to sponsor a chemistry graduate through the nucleargraduates programme. Upon completion of the two year programme you will start your employment with the Office for Nuclear Regulation to continue your career and professional development in order to become a Nuclear Safety Inspector.

Role start date:
7th October 2019

How you'll expect to spend your day

Your programme will be broken down into technical and behavioural training, structured against the needs of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) with whom you will be working with to gain chartered scientist status. You will come together with your fellow graduates to complete 'core' training such as Project Management and Commercial Awareness, as well as having the benefit of an individual training budget for training, resources and conferences specific to your personal development.

As a nucleargraduate you will have a programme bespoke to you, no two nucleargraduates’ journeys are the same. This is a unique opportunity to experience the different aspects of our complex, ever-changing industry before starting employment with the Office for Nuclear Regulation to continue your career and professional development.

On top of this, you will spend 10% of your time with us on Footprints, our corporate social responsibility programme. You will have the opportunity to become a STEM ambassador, passing on your knowledge and enthusiasm to the next generation of engineers and scientists. You will establish a start-up company, developing your commercial awareness and growing your appreciation of the challenges faced by a small business. You will work with local community projects, meeting inspirational individuals. The Footprints programme offers a range of remarkable experiences to help you develop your understanding of the political, social, environmental and community contexts in which the nuclear industry operates, both at home and abroad.

The candidate

Required Education

Candidates must have an attained or expected result of 2.2 in Chemistry.

Candidates will be subject to Office of Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) Clearance Checks.

Required Skills

Technical skills

Good to have

nucleargraduates are looking for individuals keen to learn and able to influence others through their attitude and actions. Mobility, adaptability and tenacity are crucial for this role. Most importantly, we are looking for graduates who can achieve real results whilst showing humility as an individual and in a team environment. Applicants must be driven, able to manage their own time and take full advantage of the opportunities presented to them by the scheme.

Applicants must be willing and able to move around the UK and overseas to complete secondments and training whilst on the nucleargraduates programme. Extensive travelling is required with relocation across the UK essential in order to complete secondments.

Masters level qualification would be desirable.

Continue reading to learn what it's like to work at nucleargraduates

Case studies


Site Engineer - Refuelling (Rolls-Royce Submarines)

First Class MEng Mechanical Engineering – Durham University

Substantive job title, sponsor company:
Site Engineer – Refuelling, Rolls-Royce Submarines

Previous roles, secondment hosts and durations:
Graduate Design Engineer, International Nuclear Services, 4.5 months
Graduate Mechanical Engineer, Nuclear Propulsion – Ministry of Defence, 5 months
Graduate Mechanical Engineer, Devonport Site Office – Rolls-Royce Submarines, 4 months
Graduate Manufacturing Engineer, Primary Component Operations – Rolls-Royce Submarines, 8 months

Sponsor company:
Rolls-Royce Submarines

What was your final secondment and what did it involve?

My final secondment was as a Graduate Design Engineer within an Engineering Design team. Every day I had to use and apply concepts and learning that I gained through my Engineering degree. Most of my time was spent using 3D modelling software to generate designs, from basic concepts through to extremely detailed designs. I also gained experience in producing technical drawings which were sent out to manufacturers, and through this I was able to gain an understanding of how designers and manufacturers interact and work together. Other tasks which form part of the design process included writing functional and manufacturing specifications, and performing calculations to support the designs.

What attracted you to the nuclear sector and the nucleargraduates programme?

When looking for graduate schemes to apply to, I was attracted to nucleargraduates because of the variety of opportunities that are available throughout the programme. I thought “if I gain a place on this scheme, not only will I be able to undertake a range of placements in different companies, but I will also have dedicated time for training and development, as well as an instant network of contacts across the nuclear industry”, what more could I want?

What is the standout moment from your time on the nucleargraduates programme?

A key moment for me was standing at the entrance of Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment on the north coast of Scotland. As part of a Continuing Professional Development trip to Dounreay, I had organised an opportunity for my Cohort to visit Vulcan and participate in several tours of the facilities on site. To get to this point, I had made use of my contacts within Rolls-Royce, liaised with the Chief Engineer at Vulcan, organised 30 graduates into groups and ensured they all had appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, coordinated the submission of security clearance information, and worked alongside my colleagues to deliver a successful trip to the most northern nuclear site in the United Kingdom. Standing there and realising what I had achieved was a proud and memorable moment.

What are your plans for the future?

Following completion of the nucleargraduates programme I have now taken up a permanent position within my sponsor company, Rolls-Royce. I have started my career with Rolls-Royce in Devonport Dockyard, training to become an Assistant Resident Engineer. It will take me two to three years to become qualified and I am likely to spend 5 years at the Site Office before returning to the hub of the business in Derby to further my career. Looking further into the future, I hope to move into a management position. The learning and development experiences I have gained through the nucleargraduates programme has put me in a fantastic position to build my management skills in the years to come.


Physics - Nuclear Security (ONR)

Degree and University: Physics (MPhys) at University of Liverpool.

Current job title, secondment host and duration: Nuclear security at ONR for 8.5 months.

Previous roles, secondment hosts and durations: None

Sponsor company: Office for Nuclear Regulation.

What is your current role and what does it involve?

My current role is working for the civil nuclear security programme within the Office for Nuclear Regulation. My day to day work includes writing guidance documents for inspectors, conducting surveys on security systems and assisting inspectors on interventions at nuclear licensed sites. I find inspections the most interesting part of my role as each one is so different to the last.

What attracted you to the nuclear sector and the nucleargraduates programme?

The main thing that attracted me to the nuclear sector was the scale of the challenges and problems it faces. The nuclear industry is a key part of our country's energy mix, and I wanted to make a contribution to it. The nucleargraduates programme stood out immediately from the other graduate programmes I looked at due the opportunities it provides. The unique structure of 3 secondments over the 2 years attracted me as a unique feature to that few others would have. In addition to the secondments, we also have access to a wide variety of learning and development opportunities and funding in order to improve ourselves.

What is the standout moment from your time on the nucleargraduates programme?

As part of the nucleargraduates scheme, we spend 10% of our time doing corporate social responsibility work in order to give back to the local communities in which we are based. As part of this we regularly attend STEM events and clubs in order to help and encourage young people to undertake careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. I find great satisfaction in working with the young people and possibly making a difference to their future careers.

How has the training nucleargraduates have provided helped with your professional development?

The nucleargraduates scheme provides training in a wide variety of 'soft skills' that are not necessarily concentrated on during degree work. For instance, we work on project management, communication and commercial awareness, amongst others, and these are skills that I have taken back to the workplace. We are also encouraged to take on further technical training, so I have undertaken a PgCert in Nuclear Security and Safeguards with the University of Central Lancashire in order to improve my knowledge.

What are your plans for the future (career wise)?

My current plans for the immediate future are to successfully complete the nucleargraduates scheme, and personally and professionally develop as much as possible in that time. Once the scheme is complete, I would like to return to ONR to continue my work in the security programme, and begin training to become a fully qualified inspector.