Case study

Ross Gardner — Attraction/Branding Advisor

Sellafield Ltd
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Ross Gardner, attraction/branding advisor at Sellafeld Ltd, discusses the company's graduate programme and offers advice on starting your career in the nuclear sector

What do you look for in a graduate?

Sellafield Ltd is a rapidly evolving organisation, so we look for graduates who are hungry to learn, with plenty of drive and ambition. Our graduates need to be ready to take on responsibility for key projects, be innovative and develop solutions to complex problems. We recruit a diverse range of degrees and require our graduates to have graduated within the last three years of the programme start date and be looking to achieve at least a 2:1.

For some engineering disciplines, we also prefer graduates to be working towards a Masters qualification.

What makes a graduate stand out?

In the initial application stages, graduates who tailor their application form, CV and cover letter to the Sellafield Ltd graduate programme they're applying for stand out from the rest.

Following this, at telephone interview and assessment centre stages, those who've carried out detailed research into Sellafield Ltd, who understand our history, our future and most importantly, how they fit into our business, always make the biggest impact.

How is the graduate programme at Sellafield Ltd structured?

We take roughly 50 to 60 graduates each year, across a number of degree disciplines, to be based at one of two main locations: Sellafield in West Cumbria, and our Risley offices in Warrington.

Our programme runs for 24 months, during which graduates get the opportunity to experience a variety of business areas and learn from industry-leading experts. In return, our finely honed performance management process is in place to help graduates realise their career goals and push them closer to reaching chartered status.

Aside from professional development, we have a thriving graduate community run by a group of representatives who ensure there are regular social activities to provide a good work-life balance.

What advice would you give to graduates wanting to work in the nuclear sector?

Whatever route you choose to take, the most important attributes a graduate should have include attention to detail, problem-solving ability, good communication skills and an appreciation of health and safety principles. It's also important that graduates have carried out detailed research into the sector and have a strong understanding of why they want to be a part of it.

I'd recommend that students undertake a placement year or a summer placement.

There are various opportunities available within the nuclear industry. At Sellafield Ltd, our placements give students an insight into our business, the chance to gain invaluable experience, and the opportunity for students to secure a future place on our graduate programme.

How can graduates find out more about Sellafield Ltd?

The Sellafield Ltd Careers website is the best place to start. You can learn all about the graduate programme and the areas in which you could work.

Aside from this, our website at GOV.UK offers the latest news and publications, such as the Sellafield magazine. These are great for learning about current affairs and our future. There's also an excellent YouTube video entitled ‘What is Sellafield' which provides a fast, informative overview of who we are.