AWE

We have a critical mission: to support the defence and security of the UK.
http://www.awe.co.uk/

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Best Company to work for in the UK
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AWE (the Atomic Weapons Establishment) has been at the forefront of nuclear weapons research and production in support of the UK Government's nuclear defence strategy and the Continuous At-Sea Deterrence for nearly 70 years.

With access to some of the most advanced facilities, technology and manufacturing capabilities, Berkshire-based AWE's 5,500 staff, who work across four sites, including one in Argyll, play a unique role in keeping the nation safe.

With the private sector company's work for the Ministry of Defence critical to national security, it has stayed operating throughout the pandemic and in recognition of staff's efforts both on and off site, AWE has adopted a holistic approach to supporting its “remarkable” workforce. This has included sending three wellbeing packs containing re-useable facemasks, bottles of anti-bacterial gel, a flu jab voucher and a medical thermometer to employees' homes and a package of financial support, including no furloughing, generous special paid leave to allow for childcare/home schooling and two modest bonuses so staff did not worry about money.

AWE has also created an interactive monthly wellbeing calendar linked to national campaign days, offering classes, educational webinars and activities from virtual exercise classes such as chair yoga and high intensity aerobics to mindfulness sessions and expert advice on mental health and nutrition from guest speakers.

Featured Workplace Factors

Leadership

66% of staff agreed

This organisation is run on strong values / principles

Chief executive, Alison Atkinson and the executive team have kept staff in the loop and reassured during the pandemic through regular Q&A sessions, frequent Covid-19 emails and Vlogs. The annual Celebrate event recognising achievement was hosted virtually by Atkinson and her team with gifts sent in the post.

Personal Growth

67% of staff agreed

The experience I gain from this job is valuable for my future

The firm's award-winning apprentice scheme which recruits up to 100 apprentices a year provides a structured employee development programme along with support with college applications and study. AWE has also recently launched a year-long online soft skills development programme for its graduate trainees.

Giving Something Back

74% of staff agreed

My organisation encourages charitable activities

AWE supported a local therapeutic gardening centre with the purchase of PPE and gazebos to enable them to offer a Covid-19 secure environment and over its two-year partnership with the charity Bucket List Wishes staff raised over £50,000 enabling more than 20 local terminally-ill adults to have their wish granted.

Benefits

Holidays

Companies offering a minimum of 26 days annual leave to all employees.

Long Service

Companies where at least 40% of the staff have worked there for more than five years.

Maternity

Companies offering at least 10 weeks’ full pay or generous alternative.

Pensions

Companies offering a final salary scheme to all employees, or one in which the employer's contribution is at least 5%.

List Positions

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