Engage With Stem Early To Nurture The Future Nuclear Workforce

Engage with STEM early to nurture the future nuclear workforce

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Engage with STEM early to nurture the future nuclear workforce

  • Publish Date: Posted 7 months ago
  • Author: Rebecca Graves

For organisations to secure a steady flow of candidates into nuclear roles the education surrounding career opportunities in the nuclear sector needs to start early – as NRL’s Egremont Director Rebecca Graves discussed with In-Cumbria business magazine.

John, Emma, Rebecca and James from NRL's team celebrate at the Golden Apples 2023 as award sponsors

​Our region leads the way when it comes to British nuclear power, with generations of families finding rewarding careers. To future proof this crucial sector however, the children in schools today need to be inspired to continue to innovate and develop this key power industry.

For Egremont based specialist engineering and technical recruiters NRL, led by director Rebecca Graves, they’ve supported local candidates to secure nuclear roles for 40 years, but their focus is now turning to the next generation. It was this passion to show children how interesting the nuclear sector is that drove their decision to sign up as sponsors of this year’s Golden Apple Awards, which recognises the great work happening within educational establishments to nurture talent.

STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – are key topics that are taught in classrooms up and down Cumbrian schools. Children have a natural inclination for investigating, constructing, and innovating — the essence of engineering. These intuitive attributes already evident in early years, making primary schools the perfect environment for captivating budding engineers through exciting hands-on activities, practical applications, and real-world problem-solving scenarios. Children are, after all, inquisitive by nature. Maximising this curiosity by leveraging interactive learning resources, like lab demonstrations, virtual tours of nuclear facilities and visual storytelling, can help stimulate their interest and provide tangible insight into a career in nuclear.

Representation matters as well, so it’s important that initiatives are led by a diverse cross-section of people working in the nuclear industry, who children can look up to and identify with. Reinforcing the message that a career in nuclear is accessible to all, irrespective of gender, background, or ethnicity.

NRL believe that for these STEM topics to truly come to life and capture people’s interest however, local businesses need to get involved to truly bring them to life – as Rebecca explains it’s not something one business can achieve on their own.

“It’s an exciting time for the nuclear industry, as new innovations take shape that’ll ensure nuclear power plays a significant role in our energy transition to net zero. But where will the next generation of nuclear specialists come from? Well, they're likely to be in a classroom in our local primary schools. The key to nurturing our future nuclear workforce lies in engaging with students at a young age, transforming the nuclear science narrative to encourage curiosity, whilst providing real life examples of how engineering skills can be used to build an exciting career in nuclear.

It is vital for businesses to connect with schools to enrich STEM topics at an early age. Children are our future, and instilling a love for science and engineering today will bring forth the nuclear leaders of tomorrow.”


Looking for recruitment support for your engineering organisation, then get in touch with Rebecca on rgraves@nrl.co.uk

You can read the full November issue of In-Cumbria business magazine online.