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NDA group extends partnership to inspire young nuclear professionals

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has today announced a two-year extension to its ground-breaking industrial partnership aimed at inspiring and supporting young people in the nuclear industry.

Chief Executive, David Peattie, announced that the NDA’s partnership with the Nuclear Institute’s (NI) Young Generation Network (YGN) would continue for another two years following a hugely successful first year of collaboration and support.

The NDA group of companies became the YGN’s first-ever Industrial Partner back in September 2020, and has supported a series of successful events over the past year, aimed at exhibiting industry leadership for young people achieving personal and professional development within the nuclear industry.

The partnership aims to support the development of early-career professionals in the industry, both within the NDA group and in the wider nuclear industry, and aligns behind the YGN’s mission ‘to encourage, develop and inspire young nuclear professionals and ensure that their voice is heard in shaping the future of the nuclear sector’.

The partnership also fosters opportunities for senior leaders within the NDA group to offer support to young professionals, to underpin the NDA’s mission to ‘be a great place to work’ – and in forging NDA group collaboration.

David Peattie, NDA Chief Executive, has kept personally involved in the partnership, and has encouraged other senior leaders to support.

"This partnership is unique and means the NDA group’s aims of promoting and supporting young professionals to make a successful career in nuclear are perfectly aligned with the YGN. Their professional approach to the partnership and their dynamism in creating interesting platforms in which to engage and inspire has been behind our decision to extend the partnership for another two years.

This is an extremely important partnership and will afford young people within the NDA group, and beyond the opportunity to engage with senior figures to create an environment of support, so that the young professionals of today can become the industry leaders of tomorrow."

A steering committee comprising young professionals from across the NDA group, including Sellafield Ltd, RWM Ltd, Low Level Waste Repository, Magnox Ltd, Nuclear Transport Solutions, Dounreay and Energus in West Cumbria has worked with NDA staff in organising a series of events which included the YGN Festival in 2020, seminars and interviews with senior nuclear leaders, and special one-off webinars.

The partnership will also continue to encourage educational attainment and professional qualification with the NI.

Hannah Paterson, this year’s YGN chair, and Strategy and Technical Manager at Sellafield Ltd said:

"Extending the industrial partnership for another two years is great evidence of the value the NDA has seen the YGN provide and it’s a great example of the NDA’s leadership role in inspiring its young nuclear professionals and their development. We have been working with key senior leaders in the NDA to develop an ambitious set of goals to take the partnership to the next level and involve many more young people across the NDA subsidiaries in 2022 and beyond."

Some of the highlights from the first year of partnership included:

  • Production of a video to launch the partnership and explain its mission

  • Delivery of a four-part Decommissioning Spotlights webinar series which attracted more than 600 young nuclear professionals from across the industry

  • Produced a series of communications through the NI and NDA encouraging young professionals to make the most of their YGN membership, and to attract new members

  • Hosted a week-long YGN Festival in which David Peattie, Adrian Simper, Magnox’s Chief Executive Gwen Parry-Jones and the NDA’s Corhyn Parr all took part.

  • Supported an Apprentice Fair in Westminster

  • Leadership of the international nuclear industry’s presence at COP26

John McNamara, the NDA’s Head of Stakeholder Engagement, and the Partnership Patron said the link-up would continue to benefit the YGN and the NDA Group.

"Already young professionals across our group of companies are getting to know each other and working to support each other on their professional journey. The NDA is showing leadership and will work with the YGN to continue to attract and retain young people and support their professional development."

The extended sponsorship means the YGN and NDA group will work together to launch a bespoke two-year project around creating interest for young people in the nuclear industry.

The YGN is part of the NI – the UK nuclear industry’s professional body and learned society. All young (under 37 years of age) NI members automatically become members of the YGN when they join the Institute.

The NI runs a number of regional branches around the country, in Scotland, Cumbria, North West, North East, Midlands, Central England, Western, London/SE and Wales. The YGN is a national branch with around 1500 young members.