3 February 2021

New graduate opportunity aims to tackle the industry’s gender imbalance

Saving the planet is at the heart of the global shift away from fossil fuels and it’s also the message in Assystem’s drive to attract more women to join the next generation of nuclear engineers.

Only 19% of those studying engineering at university are women (19% in 2017/18) and this has a major impact on the percentage of women working in technical roles in the nuclear sector - with women today representing 22% of the workforce. 

Now Assystem is taking action to appeal to a broader number of women studying core STEM subjects (35% in 2017/18) to consider jobs in nuclear, by launching a new graduate opportunity that offers a more accessible route to students into the industry. 

Launching today, Assystem is offering a structured technical development opportunity, that mixes on-the-job training with Assystem’s in-house technical training, mentoring and wider industry recognised training. 

These new roles are technical graduate opportunities. They will focus on cultivating technical excellence in specific areas of engineering support to the European Pressurised Water Reactor (EPR), the nuclear technology at the heart of the nuclear power stations Hinkley Point C (HPC) and Sizewell C. 

Simon Barber, Managing Director Assystem said: “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. 

“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.”

Assystem is stepping up efforts to attract more women in advance of new graduate jobs becoming available in 2021 developing the EPR technology at HPC and Sizewell C.

Starting in 2021, Assystem will increase its communication about nuclear industry careers to women’s networks in universities, the activity is part of the company’s gender diversity programme, #INCREDIBLEWOMEN that is focused on the recruitment, retention and evolution of women in the business.

Through better promotion of the sector, Assystem 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.

Projects such as HPC and the proposed Sizewell C, that are part of the Government’s Green Industrial Revolution, have created a demand for graduates in entry-level technical roles, presenting a unique moment for a new generation of men and women to lay the foundation for their careers. 

Assystem, with UK head offices in Blackburn, as well as bases in Bristol, Sunderland and London, are Tier 1 suppliers to the nuclear industry, supporting the development of HPC and the UK SMR programme and a leading nuclear fusion engineering company. 

Assystem will begin their outreach to universities with a virtual open day on February 3rd.   Anyone interested in applying for Assystem’s graduate engineering scheme can do by submitting their CV and cover letter to graduates@assystem.com


UCAS data for student data from 2017/8 referenced at https://www.ucas.com/data-and-analysis 

The percentage of women working in the nuclear industry https://www.niauk.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/nssg-nuclear-workforce-assessment-summary19_web.pdf

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