Detail of feedback received
We would like to thank all those who took part in the work to prepare the document for consultation as well as those who provided responses to the consultation. We were encouraged by offers of support from organisations who would like to work with us on this important topic.
Since our consultation period, the Nuclear Sector Deal was published. It recognises and reinforces the importance of STEM engagement for a vibrant and diverse workforce.
The responses to the consultation contained some key points which are summarised here:
- There is overwhelming support for our proposed strategy whereby NDA has a strategic role working with our partners and the delivery and implementation is via our Site Licence Companies and subsidiaries working with their partners.
- Whilst it is important for NDA to have a strategic role, it is important that we align with existing activities, for example: Careers Hubs, Local Enterprise Partnerships, and Professional Bodies.
- We recognise the need to review who the main stakeholders and influencers are, including students, parents, educators and those transferring to the sector so that we understand their needs and the opportunities. This strategy applies to everyone and not just younger people.
- Benchmarking with other employers and other sectors to develop educational materials for stakeholders to access will be important. This will bring equality of opportunity and the ability to measure impact and benefit through those routes.
- We recognise the socio-economic and educational diversity across the locations of the NDA sites. This will help us ensure that there is equality of opportunity and STEM engagement is consistent to maintain quality but recognise diversity.
STEM will be taken forwards as part of the NDA Group People Strategy working closely with R&D (subject matter experts) and socio-economic experts (considering the impact of our work on communities). NDA will be producing an NDA Group Early Careers Strategy in 2019 which will incorporate STEM, apprenticeships, graduates, PhDs and those transferring to the sector. Such an NDA Group-wide approach has been employed recently with Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) and the establishment of a STEM Council across the NDA Group will be considered.
STEM engagement and exciting the next generation nuclear is also a priority for the Nuclear Skills Strategy Group (NSSG) which NDA is a core member of; we will ensure that our strategy is aligned to the NSSG and forms an integral part of the sector wide approach.
Our objective is to inspire young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects so they are better informed about nuclear decommissioning, and encouraged to consider the NDA mission as a future career.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills are vital in enabling the NDA’s workforce to continue decommissioning its 17 historical nuclear sites, which pose unique and complex challenges.
It is believed that an NDA strategy in this area could ensure a healthy supply of workers for the future, facilitate healthy relationships in the communities around NDA sites, and help to meet other objectives, such as equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I).
The NDA is considering whether the many STEM engagement activities currently carried out independently across the NDA estate (including Site Licence Companies and subsidiaries) could be integrated more effectively into a more co-ordinated approach.
STEM engagement is important to three strategic areas within NDA: People (as part of the wider Skills and Capability area), Research and Development (R&D) (for the development of subject matter experts) and Socio-economics (in supporting communities local to our sites). STEM engagement activities can be effective in encouraging people into STEM subjects and careers such as nuclear decommissioning. While STEM is a national issue, the NDA believes that they have a role to play in contributing to take-up of these key subjects and that it is both important and timely that NDA set out what that role should be.
Comments from all stakeholders with an interest in STEM engagement are invited, on all aspects of the paper, including the options outlined and the process to select them.
We would also welcome comments and views on the following:
- Should the NDA have a role in this area?
- If so, what should the NDA’s role be? What should our strategic objective be?
After considering views from stakeholders, the next stage would be to determine the preferred option for a STEM engagement strategy, or take the informed decision to pause strategy development and retain the current approach.