News Archive


First Nuclear Skills Conference a Success!

The 21st March brought together over 250 individuals from across the industry to the inaugural Nuclear Skills Strategy Group (NSSG) Nuclear Skills conference hosted at the Bridgewater Hall Manchester. The purpose of the sold-out conference was to bring together employers, partners and government to discuss nuclear skills and skills for nuclear, demonstrating industry leadership and collaborative thinking to meet the current and emerging skills challenge.

The day was launched by Fiona Rayment chair of the NSSG explaining the need for the conference with equality and diversity being the key themes. Her goal for the Nuclear Skills conference is that it will no longer be required in 5 years.  During the day there were stimulating talks from David Peattie (CEO NDA) during which David mentioned “One NDA” and working together as the NDA group including a new ventures including secondments to organisations including the BBC and Transport for Manchester. Dame Sue Ion gave an inspirational snap shot of her career including Sky news broadcasting from her lounge, lunch with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, and experience of cultures across the world. Three young members of our industry shared their route to their current positon. Jack Gritt provided an entertaining overview of her route from hair dressing to being called to an interview because the interview panel thought she was male! And shared how she progressed to Executive roles and the president of Women in Nuclear (WiN).

A highlight of the day was the opportunity to attend a number of workshops on topics which aligned with programmes within the NSSG’s Strategic Skills Plan, which supports the People element of the Nuclear Sector Deal. These topics include, “Exciting the Next Generation: Diversity & Attraction”, “Facilitating Knowledge Transfer: Sector Transferability”, “Local Apprenticeships: Building our Talent Pipeline” and “Staying at the Cutting Edge: Growing our Subject Matter Expertise”.


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Along with these workshops Robert Alford and Samantha Ree (YGN members) ran the Young Generation Network (YGN) Fringe event aimed at young people to inspire them to join the industry. The fringe event consisted of individuals from 1st year apprentices to CEO giving a 3 minute “elevator pitch” on some aspect of their career to date followed by relaxed discussions between students and speakers. Robert’s aspiration when he devised this idea was to provide an insight into the breadth and depth of roles in our industry in a relaxed environment for the students to feel at ease chatting and gaining guidance and advice as they look for careers in our diverse industry. One of the delegates said after the fringe event “The format you came up with was really effective at sparking conversation and demonstrating the 'diversity of thought' already present in the industry. I hope you plan to do something similar at other events or again next year.” Robert commenting on the event said “The fringe went well and was brilliant to see such great discussions forming. Our challenge now is to embrace, enthuse and enable those who are beyond the fringes of our industry to the opportunities available and hopefully those inspired by this conference we will all go away stimulated to do just that”.

On reflection of the YGN event, Kate Hutchins of NSSG said “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the YGN, especially Robert and Sam who organised the fringe event which was such a success.  I have heard nothing but positive feedback from all those who attended and the National College for Nuclear (NCfN) students really found it enjoyable.”


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WiN UK lead a consecutive fringe event which involved an interactive development session designed to help delegates identify the next steps in their career. Using coaching tools delegates were able will assess their current level of satisfaction with different aspects of their career and explore what career next steps might look like.

The conference was closed by the YGN Chair, Mike Roberts, who delivered a summation of the day’s achievements and themes. Mike took the opportunity to emphasise the work of the UK YGN and how its objectives to be ambassadors, to attract and develop, and to be a community for young people are well aligned to the nuclear skills agenda. Mike spoke of the important role those further on in their careers have to support the future leaders of our industry, “We must help young people to see the exciting journey ahead and remain a part of this industry. This means we need to ensure we invest, nurture, develop and grow these individuals. We need to show them how this can be a place where they will have the opportunity to shine, where their potential can be realised.” Mike concluded the conference by reflecting on the words that Fiona Rayment used in her opening address, reminding the delegates that, “now is the time to put plans into action”.

It was a great day which was followed by the Nuclear Skills Awards leading to a truly remarkable day for all involved.


Thanks to all the speakers who took part!


YGN Fringe

Ellie Haggart

Cyber Apprentice Energus

Ian Jones

DBD Engineering Manager

Christopher Senior/ Lisa Mason

Electrical apprentice EDF

Fiona Rayment

NSSG Chair

Rowan Mackain-Bremner

Nuclear Grad at Sellafield

Matthew Hutcheon

Westinghouse - Chemical engineering

Natalie White

NNL Business Apprentice now degree

Lloyd Woodhouse

Westinghouse - 3rd year apprentice

Samantha Ree

NNL Chemical and process modeller



Carl Manning/ Sophie Bulman

EDF Year three apprentice

Joanna Wolf

CEO Cogent Skills

Molly Bennett

Commercial Graduate- Cavendish

William Bodel

PhD Nuclear Engineering (Materials Testing) UoM

Philip Lowery

SL Apprentice

Callum Page

Westinghouse -Apprenticeship

Liam Watson

Westinghouse- Nuclear fuel product qualification engineer

Samantha Ree

NNL Chemical and process modeller


More information on the UK NSSG here.