Training and development at NDA
A Nuclear Decommissioning Authority case study

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Page 2: Human Resources strategy

An organisation depends on its employees to deliver its objectives. The Human Resources (HR) department manages and develops an organisation's workers.

HR departments carry out workforce planning. This involves assessing the workforce needs of an organisation in terms of the numbers of workers and the skills and capabilities required. Employers consider their future workforce needs to allow them to plan recruitment and training activities. The HR function therefore has a strategic role to play in the achievement of business aims and objectives.

Training needs analysis

As part of its workforce planning for the whole decommissioning industry, NDA undertook a training needs analysis. Skills shortages were identified in a number of areas including:

  • cost and project control engineers
  • quantity surveyors
  • environmental specialists
  • project managers
  • radiological protection advisors.

Skills gaps

In order to provide safe and sustainable nuclear clean-up and waste management solutions, the industry must have highly skilled workers. In addition to the shortages identified, NDA has experienced a number of other challenges in the skills area. These include the ageing workforce within the industry. As workers retire, their skills will be lost.

Another challenge is the low uptake by students of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). To address these challenges NDA has developed the National Nuclear Skills and Capability Strategy. The aim of the strategy is to ensure that NDA has measures in place to meet the demands of the industry. It also aims to raise its profile as an employer of choice for existing and future employees.

Skills and Capability Action Plan

The Skills and Capability Action Plan details the actions required to achieve objectives. This relates to both NDA and to the Site Licence Companies within its control. Historically, SLCs were responsible for developing their own people although this work was funded centrally by NDA.

NDA wanted to put in place a strategy that would give both it and the SLCs more benefit in terms of sharing best practice, greater efficiency, value for money and a more standardised approach to training and development. In developing the strategy, six key themes have emerged which inform the activities and investments that are made by NDA, its partners and its stakeholders.

NDA's rationale for investing and developing its own workforce and that of the SLCs and their sub-contractors is to:

  • deliver safe, effective and efficient performance
  • establish a clear understanding of skills and behavioural requirements
  • focus on developing flexible skills
  • ensure the correct level of suitably qualified personnel
  • meet changing requirements
  • provide a well-educated, informed and enthusiastic workforce.

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority | Training and development at NDA