Assystem targets 100 women for nuclear roles

French-headquartered engineering group Assystem is seeking 100 women for roles in the UK nuclear industry over the next five years, supporting next-gen tech at Hinkley Point and Sizewell.

Artist’s impression of twin reactors at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station

Assystem is a major supplier to the nuclear industry, with UK headquarters in Blackburn as well as bases in Bristol, Sunderland and London. It is currently supporting the development of Hinkley Point C (HPC) as well as the UK SMR (small modular reactor) programme and a nuclear fusion company.

The new positions at the company will be technical graduate opportunities focusing on skills development in specific areas of engineering support to the European Pressurised Water Reactor (EPR), the technology underpinning the new nuclear power stations at HPC and Sizewell C.

Hinkley C hailed as chance to diversify nuclear workforce

According to Assystem, women make up around 22 per cent of the nuclear workforce, but just 19 per cent of those studying engineering at university are female, compared with 35 per cent studying core STEM in general. The company says it will seek to target those studying wider STEM and not just engineering as it searches for greater gender balance across its growing UK workforce. It is aiming to use nuclear energy’s low-carbon credentials as an incentive to attract young STEM grads into an industry that can play a key role in the fight against climate change.

“This programme is about doing a better job of promoting the nuclear industry to women with the aim of increasing the number that apply for jobs with us,” said Simon Barber, managing director at Assystem.

“Nuclear can create low-carbon electricity and climate neutral hydrogen, energy that is vital to power healthcare, our economy and save the planet. Our message to women in STEM is, if you want to be a part of a critical industry that helps to fight climate change, nuclear is it.”

Starting in 2021, Assystem says it will increase its communication about nuclear industry careers to women’s networks in universities. Through better promotion of the sector, the company estimates that its graduate recruitment opportunities will attract a greater number of applications from women, paving the way for the recruitment of up to 100 women to these roles between 2021 – 2025.