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nucleargraduates 2019 - Communications (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority)

Salary: £26,000 per annum

Location: Workington, Cumbria

Application Deadline: EXPIRED

Job Type: Graduate scheme

Contract Type: Permanent

The job

Summary of the job role

The two-year programme consists of three secondments chosen by you with the guidance of your mentor. 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. A dedicated mentor, assigned to you upon starting the programme, will help you plan a two-year programme unique to you and your development goals setting you on the road to chartership.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is a non-departmental public body, created through the Energy Act 2004. Employing just over 200 staff, their headquarters are based in west Cumbria. The NDA own 17 sites across England, Wales and Scotland, some dating back to the 1940s, plus the associated liabilities and assets.

The NDA report to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS); for some aspects of their work in Scotland they are responsible to Scottish ministers. Their role is strategic, to establish the overall approach, allocate budgets, set targets and monitor progress. The NDA do not have a hands-on role in cleaning up facilities, they deliver their mission through others.

The NDA's responsibilities include; the decommissioning and cleaning up of nuclear facilities, ensuring that all waste products, both radioactive and non-radioactive, are safely managed, implementing policy on the long-term management of nuclear waste in the UK and developing UK-wide strategy and plans for nuclear Low Level Waste (LLW). They are also responsible for scrutinising the decommissioning plans of EDF Energy, who own the operating fleet of Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (AGR) nuclear power stations.

Working within the NDA Marketing and Communications team you will make key contributions to the project management of a number of statutory documents, liaising with a number of cross-functions teams and executive members. You will provide support for internal and external conferences and events and gain a valuable insight into the NDA and how it interacts with its businesses and stakeholders.

Your nucleargraduates programme will be broken down into technical and behavioural training. It will be structured against the needs of the institute with whom you're aiming to gain chartered status. You will come together with your fellow graduates to complete 'core' training as well as having the benefit of an individual training budget for training specific to your personal development.

On top of this you will spend 10% of your time with us to 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 scientists and engineers. You will establish a start-up company, developing your commercial awareness and allowing your appreciation of the challenges faced by a small business. You will work with local community projects, meeting inspirational individuals.

This is a unique opportunity to experience the different aspects of our complex, ever-changing industry as you start your career.

The candidate

Required Education

Candidates must have an attained or expected result of 2.2 in Marketing, Communications or a related discipline.

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.

Role Start Date
7 October 2019

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

£26,000 + £1,000 Golden Hello

Travel Details
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.

Application Process
Upon receipt of initial application form all applicants will be invited to complete our online Situational Strengths Assessment, successful candidates will then be invited to complete a video interview then a two-day assessment centre that will assess candidates across a range of competencies.

After the assessment centre, successful candidates will be made a formal offer of a place on the nucleargraduates programme.

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.

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