nucleargraduates: The door to your engineering career

Published: 17 Aug 2017 By Cameron Collins

For over a decade, the UK’s nuclear industry has been going through a period of transition. Organisations like the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) have been working tirelessly to clean up the country’s nuclear legacy, while reviving the industry itself; decommissioning power plants at the end of their life cycles, all while ushering in the next generation of nuclear energy providers. Of course, this is a massive undertaking, as well as a unique opportunity: For the first time in years, nuclear energy is back on the agenda! With a workload as immense as it is important, the need for talent is at an all-time high.

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In comes nucleargraduates; a ground-breaking programme designed in 2007 by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Sponsored by some of the biggest names in the industry (Sellafield Ltd, Rolls-Royce, Jacobs, International Nuclear Services and the Office for Nuclear Regulation, to name a few), nucleargraduates strives to nurture and develop the most talented up-and-comers in the industry, offering unique educational and travelling opportunities unavailable to other graduate schemes. Solely funded by their partnered sponsors, with a clear goal to educate and innovate; nucleargraduates is a graduate scheme like no other.  

However, the scheme is no walk in the park. The road from application to acceptance can be a challenging one. In the shoes of the next great nuclear engineer, you’ll have to make it through an online test of your verbal, numerical, and logical capabilities; then, a video interview where you’ll have fifteen minutes to sell yourself and show off your strengths, and finally; a two day assessment at one of nucleargraduates’ assessment centres. There will be individual, role-play, and group exercises, interviews, and above all, an opportunity to learn more about the nuclear industry, the revolutionary programme itself, and the organizations that sponsor it. Then, when all that is behind you, you’ll get the final decision; an offer of a place on the programme with confirmation of who would like to sponsor you for the duration of your study. Upon completion of the programme you will join your sponsor to continue your career and professional development.

Vacancies are advertised by discipline, so you should apply for the ones most appropriate to your degree. When that’s done and you’ve got your sponsor, your two year long journey begins…

Your time on the nucleargraduates programme will be split into numerous secondments, each lasting six to eight months. A secondment will be comprised of a live engineering project with real deadlines to meet and real customers to please. The secondments are designed with your individual development in mind, but you’ll still be working to the standards set down by your professional sponsor. You will have the opportunity to work close to home and abroad under the wing of your mentor. It should not be under-stated that your journey through the nucleargraduates programme will be a unique and personal one, subject to your own control. Through the use of your own Continuous Professional Development budget (CPD), you will have the opportunity to customize your own development throughout the programme, making it just as possible to specialize in a specific area of the industry that interests you, than it is to gain a broad experience in a wide area of fields.

During those two years, 10% of your time will be spent in dedication to the Footprints programme. In this time you will become a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) ambassador, teaching and inspiring the next generation of engineers. You will learn the fundaments of business by starting up and maintaining a small company, developing your understanding of how small companies work and the issues they face. You’ll also work on social and community projects, giving you the opportunity to both expand your skillset and meet new, inspiring people. Footprints is a corporate social responsibilities programme designed to give graduates a greater perspective on the nuclear industry. This goal is achieved through unique opportunities, like the chance to work internationally and work in fields you may have never had a chance to otherwise. The Footprints programme is your chance to make real, visible changes in the world and expand your knowledge of the industry in ways you could never expect.

nucleargraduates is the most comprehensive graduate scheme the industry has ever seen and they are currently looking for graduates to join them in three areas of study; engineering, scientific, and commercial. With a starting salary of £26,000 (rising to £27,000 in the second year) and the opportunity to both develop skills unavailable to other graduates, and work abroad as part of three work placements; the nucleargraduates scheme is a fantastic and unique opportunity for ambitious graduates with strong problem-solving, logical, and social skills to get a foothold in one of the most stable and lucrative industries in the world.

If you're interested in taking part in the nucleardraguates programme, click here to apply. 

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