Harnessing the intelligence and ideas of the next generation is crucial for the success of the nuclear sector. Engaging with students and young professionals creates opportunities for leaders in the sector to highlight the important role that nuclear energy could play in helping countries to reduce carbon emissions while achieving energy security. This engagement will be key to ensuring that the sector attracts a large and robust skilled workforce to meet these production and environmental targets.
As a part of its efforts in advancing nuclear education, training, and skills development for students and young professionals, the Nuclear Energy Agency was invited to participate in the European Nuclear Young Generation Forum (ENYGF) in Krakow, Poland on 8–12 May.
This bi-annual meeting provides an international platform for discussions and best practice sharing between nuclear professionals and the next generation. This year’s event brought together over 300 young delegates from around ten countries who participated in panel sessions, interactive workshops, technical sessions and site tours.
The NEA Head of Nuclear Education, Dr Antonella Di Trapani, co-hosted a panel with the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN) on ‘Mobility Action and How It Can Benefit Your Nuclear Career’. The panel featured input from Gabriel Pavel, Executive Director of ENEN, and Leon Cizelij, President of the European Nuclear Society, and was moderated by Roberta Cirillo, Project and Communication Officer of ENEN. It emphasised the opportunities that mobility programmes offer, while also providing practical advice on how to apply for them.
Young professional attending the panel discussion how mobility action programmes can help to enhance their skills and experience in the nuclear sector.
During the panel, Dr Di Trapani highlighted the NEA’s mobility programmes within the Nuclear Education, Skills and Technology (NEST) Framework to the students and young professionals, noting that they expect participation rates to double by the end of 2024.
“Mobility programmes such as NEST offer the chance for young professionals to develop critical skills and competences, which is essential as they will be at the forefront of the nuclear renaissance many countries are now facing,” said Dr Di Trapani.
During the panel discussion, NEA Junior Analyst for Nuclear Education, Training, Outreach and Knowledge Management, Zoe Dahse, interviewed three young professionals who participated in the NEST or ENEN mobility programmes. The three young panelists, including Sofia Arfinego del Carpio (NEST Fellow), Riccardo Cocci (Assystem, France) and Pauline Fouquet-Métivier (CEA), shared the valuable experience they had gained through the programmes, gaining a variety of technical and non-technical skills.
NEA Head of Nuclear Education, Dr Antonella Di Trapani, co-hosted a panel with the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN) on ‘Mobility Action and How It Can Benefit Your Nuclear Career’.
NEST Fellow Alumni Sofia Arfinego del Carpio, who spent six-months at Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland with the NEST HYMERES project, highlighted that the mobility programme enabled her to work with the state-of-the-art facilities and delve further into her scientific area of expertise.
“I was integrated in a new working environment and had the chance to meet new international colleagues and professional in the nuclear sector, which broadened my horizon. I had never seen real applications, but the NEST programme made it possible,” she said.
The NEA also took part in the 'Nuclear Careers Day' which allowed ENYGF participants to meet and discuss with professionals from the NEA about the many pathways available to those who wish to pursue a career in the nuclear sector.
The NEA engaged with students and young professionals during the ENYGF ‘Nuclear Careers Day’.
The 2025 edition of the ENYGF will take place in Croatia.
For more information on the NEA NEST programmes visit the NEST homepage.