Despite the restrictions placed on Young Generation Network activities this year due to the pandemic, the group at Sellafield took up the challenge and delivered hugely successful events.
The Young Generation Network (YGN), focusses on personal and professional development for its members while aiming to attract the next generation of nuclear workers.
The network this year has been supported by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) as its industry partner, who have formed a working group to offer opportunities to early-career professionals across the NDA group.
The group helped to organise 14 events during YGN Festival Week which attracted over 600 attendees that covered topics such as sustainable development, climate change and waste management, and a webinar series focused on UK decommissioning held in September.
Hannah Paterson, Technology Manager at Sellafield Ltd in Spent Fuel Management Strategy and Technical, helped organise Festival Week.
She said: “Festival week created such an awesome buzz which was wonderful to see.
“We had great speakers, it was interactive, and feedback from attendees was that they particularly enjoyed the virtual coffee networking session where they were randomly chosen to meet other UK and international nuclear professionals and expand their network.”
Grace Frost, Sub Project Manager at Sellafield Ltd in Programme and Project Partners, arranged the webinar events.
She said: “The ‘Decommissioning Spotlights’ series was a huge triumph for the Industry Partner working group. A lot of learning from this event can be taken to support future endeavours of the partnership.”
Meanwhile, Sellafield Ltd has three employees on next year’s YGN Strategic Committee – the largest company representation – with Hannah as Chair, Grace as the Industry Liaison Lead and Stacy Snook from Security and Resilience who will lead YGN Marketing and Communications.
Stacy said: “I’m excited to join the YGN Committee. The pandemic has demonstrated how important clear digital communications are in lieu of physical events and interactions.
“I’m hoping to use my role to ensure we can reach a wider audience so the YGN can continue to encourage and develop the UK’s early career professionals and demonstrate that the nuclear industry is an exciting destination for young people.”
Grace said: “It’s amazing to have three Sellafield Ltd workers holding strategic roles on the committee. It was also great that Quality Degree Apprentice Phillipa Hawley was recently awarded the 2020 YGN Excellence prize for her commitment and enthusiasm to support the YGN.”
As the YGN Committee transitions into 2021, preparations are underway to develop next year’s calendar of events.
Hannah added: “Despite not being able to host visits, events and conferences, we still had a great year, we can’t wait to arrange a programme of events for 2021 and we’ll be in touch with further details.”