Aberdeen-based AFBE-UK Scotland has signed a five-year partnership with Aberdeen University’s school of engineering to support its diversity and inclusion strategy.
The university has joined big names including the RAF, Mercedes Formula 1 motor racing team, energy giant SSE and Subsea 7 in partnering with AFBE-UK.
The not-for-profit organisation supports all young people, particularly those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, with career aspirations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
AFBE-UK Scotland will work closely with the school to help graduates bridge the gap between completing their academic studies and taking a first step on the career ladder.
First long-term partnership
AFBE-UK Scotland chairman Ollie Folayan said: “This is a tremendous partnership – one where both parties have a key role to play.
“This is the first time any organisation has signed up to a long-term partnership with us and I believe that reflects the extent of ambition that the University of Aberdeen and the school of engineering have in promoting opportunities for all.
“We are very much looking forward to working with them.”
In addition, AFBE-UK Scotland will support the school with its diversity goals. A particular focus will be the way in which it communicates the contribution of people of minority ethnic origin through its academic programmes and curriculum.
Building on work to date
The school already has an equality, diversity and inclusion committee, and is planning to participate in AFBE-UK Scotland’s Transition, Real Projects and NextGen programmes.
Professor Igor Guz, head of school, said: “The school of engineering is proud to have staff and students from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures, which is a large part of what makes it such a great place to work and study.
“There is always room for improvement, however, and we anticipate that by working closely with AFBE-UK Scotland, we will continue to build on that cultural inclusion.”
Energy services company also on board
AFBE Scotland was launched in 2011 and has supported thousands of young people though a range of mentoring programmes.
Earlier this month energy services giant Subsea 7 was also announced as a new partner.
Mr Folayan said: “We are thrilled to have Subsea 7 onboard.
“Subsea 7 is committed to developing a strong diversity and inclusion strategy, and we are looking forward to working with them on this.”
Attracting and developing a diverse workforce is an important part of our strategy.”
Judith Anderson, Subsea 7.
Judith Anderson, global human resources director, inspection repair and maintenance, Subsea 7 UK, and chairwoman of the UK Diversity & Inclusion steering group, echoed Mr Folyan’s thoughts.
She said: “Attracting and developing a diverse workforce is an important part of our strategy to focus on the subsea field of the future and energy transition.
“We are delighted to be partnering with AFBE and look forward to working with them to build excitement about Stem careers and build on our inclusive culture.”
Working with Scottish schools
AFBE-UK Scotland’s work includes its schools programme NextGen, where industry leaders and professionals give advice to pupils; Transition, where industry leaders help aspiring engineering professionals to enter the job market; and Real Projects, where industry professionals share their knowledge and expertise.
These programmes were usually carried out in person, however, they are currently taking place online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.