Sellafield Ltd, the company responsible for safely decommissioning the UK’s nuclear legacy, has responded to a national call to action to encourage more young people, particularly females, to pursue careers in science, technology engineering and maths.
This is part of the ‘Your Life’ campaign, launched by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt. Hon. George Osborne MP, as a plea to leading businesses and educational institutions to transform the way young people think about STEM subjects and the careers to which they lead.
Sellafield Ltd has contributed to this campaign by making three pledges to build upon the various education and training schemes they already have in place, as a way of opening up even more training and development opportunities than ever before, particularly to young women interested in forging a career in the nuclear sector.
Les Agnew Head of Education and Skills for Sellafield Ltd said: “At Sellafield Ltd we already consider ourselves to be ahead of curve when it comes to education, training and recruitment. Last year we welcomed 130 new apprentices into the company, one quarter of these were female, which is significantly more than the national average. However, we recognise we can do more to address the gender gap and attract women into the industry by inspiring them from an early age, our pledges reflect how seriously we take this.”
“Our educational outreach programme delivers workshops to over 100 schools in the surrounding communities, showing over 7,000 children each year how enjoyable science, technology, engineering and maths can be. We recognise that female uptake for these subjects is still low, so are doing more to target female students before they make important decisions about their education and career”.
As their contribution to the campaign, the company has committed to increasing the proportion of female apprentices, trainees and graduates by 10% by 2020, they will also nominate 100 female employees working in science and technology to act as mentors and role models in 40 local universities, colleges and schools. In addition to this they have creating a bursary programme worth a total of £60k over four years to support two women per year, who want to pursue science and technology careers through further, and higher education and dedicated summer student placements.
Ian Hudson from Sellafield Ltd’s parent organisation, Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) said: “Once again Sellafield Ltd under the leadership of Nuclear Management Partners is playing a pivotal role in upskilling the next generation of nuclear professionals. We now have more apprentices than ever before, a quarter if which are female.”
Sellafield Ltd is one of 170 leading organisations, including Google, L’Oreal, Microsoft, Ford, BP, BSkyB, Airbus, Nestle and Samsung, all pledging to do more to highlight the career opportunities open to those studying STEM subjects.