The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) group has welcomed the arrival of its first cohort of graduates recruited through the NDA group graduate programme, launched late last year.

6,000 applications were received for NDA graduate schemes, with over 60 new recruits now set to work across the UK in a variety of roles.

The scheme has already exceeded aspirations for diversity goals, due to be achieved by 2025.

47 per cent of graduates are female, 26 per cent identify as an ethnic minority, 18 per cent as LGBTQ, and 13 people report being a person with a disability.

Jacq Longrigg, NDA group’s Head of Leadership, Skills and Talent, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the success of the programme, it’s fantastic to see the wealth of diverse young talent that see the NDA group as an attractive employer.

“Decommissioning our sites will take well over a hundred years and our work is growing. We are building a modern nuclear workforce with skills and capability to deliver our mission safely and securely now, and in the future.

“We wish all our graduates a long and successful career with us, and we are working with renewed commitment to build on this momentum when we open for applications in the next few weeks. There has never been a better time to say hello to a career in the NDA group.”

Annually, it spends more than £45 million on apprenticeship and graduate development, supporting over 1,000 people in its early career programmes.

One new recruit, Harriet, has started her induction at Energus, Workington, ahead of joining the group as a project manager.

She said: “I’m really excited to start my career with the NDA group and looking forward to working with lots of different people and trying out different disciplines as part of my programme.”

Graduates will undergo three two-year placements in different parts of the group, which includes the NDA, Sellafield, Magnox with Dounreay, Nuclear Transport Solutions and Nuclear Waste Services.

Applications for next year's cohort will open in October, with ambition to increase the number of graduates taken on and further increase diversity.

There will be a wider presence at universities and colleges, and outreach outside traditional STEM establishments, plus engagement in areas with higher proportions of learners from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The programme provides a comprehensive package of benefits, such as a starting salary of £30,000.

Graduates can visit the NDA group graduate programme website for more information.