AWE

Protecting our nation for more than 70 years, AWE is a team of remarkable people achieving extraordinary things every day.

Why work for us?

To work at AWE is to play a valuable part in keeping our country safe and secure. AWE employs around 7,500 women and men undertaking some of the most important work, in support of the most important mission – keeping the nation safe. We have some of the most brilliant people, working on some of the most complex challenges and achieving things like no other company.

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People are the heart of our company

Whether you’re an engineer, scientist, business services professional or starting out in your career at AWE as a graduate or an apprentice, we couldn’t achieve what we do without the pride and commitment that our people have in doing the job they do. Our behaviours – Connecting with respect, We keep our promises, We embrace simplicity, We are safe and secure – are an important part of our working life and we inspire people to live them every day.

At AWE, we are passionate about developing talent. We aim to build and maintain a culture of high performance, providing continuous development to give people – whatever stage they are at in their career – the support they need to thrive and reach their full potential. We believe in supporting our people through long-term investment in learning and development. Alongside in-house and on-line training capabilities, we support membership of professional bodies.

We also focus on building and developing leadership skills, in pursuit of our best-in-class ambition. We do this through tailored leadership development programmes, accredited by the Chartered Management Institute, designed to equip our leaders with the skills to drive performance and bring out the best in their teams.

Making a real difference, both nationally and locally, and giving back to the community is a strong part of our culture. We have a long history of supporting charities and, as one of the largest STEM employers in the local area, through our award-winning schools outreach programme we support schools across West Berkshire and North Hampshire (Reading, Newbury, Basingstoke).

Female colleagues chatting around a desk

What is it like to work here?

We know that creating a diverse workforce is critical to our future, and we are committed to a positive and inclusive environment. Our employee-led working groups, representing the diversity within our company, have been integral to the progression that we have made. This has been recognised through benchmarking our approach to ED&I with enei, WISE and Stonewall, for example. Through our Employee Voice and Engagement Champions groups we encourage inclusivity in our approach, creating a ‘speak up’ environment where our people are listened to as well as communicated with.
Recognising that work is a thing we do, not just a place we go to, we have adopted a modern approach to our ways of working, providing greater choice: where, when and how we work dependant on what we’re doing. This gives our people the flexibility to balance work around home life.

The benefits

We believe in ‘A Fair Deal’ for all our employees by offering a modern, consistent and sustainable approach to reward across our business.

Competitive salary, regular pay reviews and Company Performance Pay.

We use an independent company to benchmark our salaries, to ensure they’re competitive against industry standards. And we also conduct regular performance-related pay reviews. We offer Company Performance Pay to all employees below senior management grades, funded by employee-generated efficiencies.

The AWE working pattern

The working structure at AWE differs from other companies. We operate a 9-day working fortnight, which means our sites close every other Friday.
What does this mean? Our working pattern operates on a 2-weekly cycle, so:

  1. During the first week, you’ll work Monday to Friday for a total of 41 hours
  2. During the second week, you’ll work Monday to Thursday for a total of 33 hours – and not work on the Friday

You can also choose full or part-time hours to fit around your family and we are open to flexible working arrangements.

Parental Leave

AWE is absolutely committed to supporting working parents.

We have made enhancements to Maternity Leave and eligible employees now receive full pay for the first 39 weeks of leave. Similarly, those on Shared Parental Leave will now receive full pay for 39 weeks, if leave is being taken within 39 weeks of the primary carer starting their Maternity or Adoption Leave.

We have also introduced Returners’ Leave which allows employees returning from Maternity or Adoption Leave the option to have 6 months’ of working Fridays as paid time off.

We have enhanced our Paternity Leave entitlement too, from 2 weeks to 4 weeks leave at full pay and increased the flexibility around how our employees take this leave (it no longer has to be taken in one block).

Annual leave

Because our working pattern differs from that of other companies, we calculate our annual leave in hours. We’ll give you time to recharge your batteries with 270 hours of holiday each year for a full-time employee; that’s equal to at least 25 days plus bank holidays. Holiday hours are pro-rata for part time employees. This is in addition to our 9-day fortnight.

There are also options for special leave, bereavement leave, time off for public duties and for armed forces reservists and for taking a career break.

Female smiling at the camera with an office background behind her

The AWE Group Personal Pension

Upon being enrolled in the pension scheme, you’ll pay a percentage of your salary into the pension scheme each month, added to which the Company makes generous contributions. It’s flexible, so you can increase or decrease the amount you pay into the scheme at any time.

AWE Life Insurance

We also provide a life insurance benefit for all employees, aged up to and including 74.

This mean that, in the event of your death, the Company would pay a lump sum death-in-service benefit of four-times your salary.

Financial Education and Benefits

Understanding and taking care of your money is incredibly important and we want to Make Money Simpler for everyone. There’s access to financial information online plus you’ll receive regular but short informative communications from our financial education partner.

To help spread the cost of environmentally friendly transport, we offer interest-free loans for cycle purchase and for buying a rail season ticket.

For those wishing to save, we provide access to a Stocks and Shares ISA and a Fund & Share account. And there’s also access to a discounted will writing service.

Voluntary Benefits and Staff discounts

Through our MyChoice scheme, you can benefit from discounts on a wide range of lifestyle and financial products and services.

If you’d like to know more about what it’s like to be part of the AWE team, here’s what a few of them have to say.

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