Delivering for young workers

Delivering for young workers at Sellafield

Rebecca Stamper, a young Prospect rep at Sellafield in Cumbria, is truly inspirational. In 2018, Rebecca and colleagues in the Young Professionals Network organised a huge range of local events for members based on the main Sellafield site

From career development to pay and from equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) to outreach and charity work, the events proved hugely popular with members – especially those at the start of their careers.

In her day job, Rebecca deals with risk management for major projects and asset management.

 She began her career as a technical specialist trainee (now degree apprentice) with Gen II. She completed her degree in plant engineering with nuclear decommissioning while working as a sonar and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) specialist in legacy retrievals for Sellafield Ltd.

After six years, she wanted a change which would suit her second degree, economics, so moved into risk.

On how she got involved in the union, Rebecca said: “I was already organising opportunities for early careers development and I had a vested interest in making the workplace a more comfortable place for young people after seeing, and being on the receiving end, of bullying and harassment.

“When the previous YPN chair stepped down, it seemed natural to go further with Prospect to help young people in the company.

“I like interacting with a wide variety of people. I’ve made some good friendships with members of the YPN and it has been nice to see how my work has benefitted them. If I can improve one person’s work life with the sessions we put on then it’s been worthwhile.”

Rebecca outlined what the YPN did in 2018:

Career and personal development

  • hosted career development, self-development and networking sessions
  • provided STEM experience to align with Chartership expectations
  • provided internationally recognised University of Cambridge lean management training 
  • provided opportunities to work with the executive team.

Employment-related advice and support

  • helped industrial placement students get a pay rise to bring them above minimum wage
  • supported graduates with contractual issues
  • organised monthly meetings for YPN members to air their grievances
  • hosted pension sessions.

Equality and diversity

  • worked with the equality, diversity and inclusion team and Prospect to have young members’ experiences heard
  • supported LGBTQ+ EDI in the community and through Sellafield at events and by hosting talking sessions.

Outreach and charity work

  • supported local schools with “world of work” sessions where YPN members shared their experiences
  • supported fundraising for local charities.

Feedback from members and the company has been really positive. Sellafield’s EDI lead was “delighted the sessions have gone so well”.

Members have found the sessions really good and appreciate the fact the “YPN is now a safe space for people to share their experiences/problems with the goal of addressing these”.

Looking to the future

Plans for 2019, subject to funding, include mental health awareness sessions for all YPN members; identifying and dealing with bullying and harassment; CV writing and interview skills and a knowledge sharing trip for YPN members at EDF Energy.

Rebecca would like to work more closely on EDI for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority estate and is keen to work with other Prospect reps and organisations on more general issues.

“If you have any recommendations, or you know of any other companies within Prospect who would like to work together, then please let me know via our Prospect Liverpool office.”

Prospect organiser Jess Norris said: “Rebecca organised really useful and interesting events and even managed to get the company to fund some of the training she is arranging.

“Rebecca understands the importance of young workers making their voice heard and taking control over their future at work. I am looking forward to working with her to make sure that our YPN members in Hinton House are also actively engaged in these initiatives.”