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Skills and nuclear decommissioning – How the NDA is investing in the next generation

Skills and nuclear decommissioning - How the NDA is investing in the next generation

Jacq Longrigg, NDA group People Development Director joined the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in 2018 with extensive knowledge and experience of the education and skills sector.

Her role includes being the NDA representative on the National Nuclear Skills Task Force, supporting the development of the agenda of the Nuclear Skills Strategy Group (NSSG), of which the NDA is a lead member organisation, and she ensures the NDA is aligned with national programmes such as the Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition and Development, sponsor of the NDA group graduate programme and the sector wide Nuclear Graduates, the apprenticeship levy and school engagement.

Jacq ensures that we have the right skills at the right time to deliver the mission across the NDA group, including early careers, subject matter experts, technical and professional capability, and STEM engagement.

In honour of National Apprenticeship Week, we speak to Jacq about how the NDA investing in the skills of its apprentices, what an apprenticeship role with them entails and how the success of the NDA’s mission is dependant on this next generation:

“The NDA is tasked with decommissioning the UK’s earliest nuclear sites safely, securely, and sustainably. It’s a decades long mission that is ever expanding, so investing in skills, including our apprentices, has never been more important; both in supporting the growth of our people and for advancing the UK nuclear industry.

The success of our nuclear clean up mission is delivered by over 17,000 people within the NDA group working in and on our 17 sites across the UK, covering over 900 different roles. Furthermore, the Nuclear Skills Strategy Group have recently forecast a 49% growth in the nuclear sector by 2030, showing why it’s never been more important to invest in our future workforce.

“This week is National Apprenticeship Week and in 2024, we have plans to recruit over 400 apprentices onto schemes within the NDA group across a variety of disciplines including critical, scarce, and high-demand skills, such as cyber, engineering and project management, which are required to futureproof our organisation. 

We want to attract a wide range of soon-to-be apprentices, spread across a wide range of roles, from maintenance technicians and nuclear operatives to digital and technical solutions experts and business administrators…the list really does go on!

“Whilst undertaking their apprenticeship, they’ll follow a structured development programme, working closely with recognised providers and institutes to provide a wide-range of on and off job development.We want to support all our employees to have a fulfilling career, therefore, we work with all our apprentices on an individual level to secure appropriate positions post-programme. 

“Diverse teams help bring different perspectives, backgrounds and experiences which foster creativity and innovation. We will always seek to recruit diverse talent, and we want to attract people from all backgrounds and walks of life to drive success across the NDA group.

“We know our apprentices are the future of our workforce, and as such, should reflect the society we live in. That’s why we are continuing to work to make the NDA group an employer of choice, where employees can bring their true and authentic selves to work.

“Alongside National Apprenticeship Week, this week also marks Race Equality Week, and we’re committed to a culture of respect and inclusion. Our apprentices are ambassadors for the organisation, and we’re proud to see so many supporting their local communities through their workplaces, representing them in outreach programmes for schools and colleges, community incentives and other activities that make them role models to the NDA group.

“We have a proven track record in investing in early career development. Thousands of careers have started within our group over several decades, so we really understand the importance of attracting new talent to deliver our complex mission. That’s why each year, we invest over £45 million in apprentice and graduate development, with over 1,000 people currently following our early careers programmes.

“I always love having the chance to shine a light on our apprentices and the opportunities we offer. National Apprenticeship Week truly gives the NDA group the chance to celebrate our successes and look forward to our future as we continue to progress our skills agenda further. Over the week, the NDA group have been showcasing our apprentices on social media and I really would encourage you to look at these channels to find out more if you haven’t already and hear from them first-hand about their highlights and achievements.

“Our apprenticeship programmes really do have the power to change lives and I would encourage anyone thinking about taking on an apprenticeship to look at the NDA group. You will become a part of our long-term mission, be offered many opportunities, and help us drive change, building a long lasting and meaningful career. There really has never been a more exciting time to be within the NDA group.”

If you’re interested in a career with us, why not visit our brand-new careers website, offering the wide range of opportunities available within the NDA group: NDA Group Careers – NDA group careers

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