The RAF is the latest notable name to join partners with AFBE-UK Scotland, the Association for Black & Minority Ethnic Engineers Engineers, a not-for-profit organisation that encourages diversity and inclusion.
Aberdeen-based AFBE-UK Scotland supports all young people, particularly those from Black & Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, with career aspirations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
AFBE-UK endeavours to promote public awareness of engineering and the opportunities for BAME groups in engineering, while increasing their numbers in the engineering sector by inspiring young BAME people to study engineering and make contributions to their respective fields.
"People are at the heart of everything the RAF does. Our greatest legacy to our successors is not the outstanding operational track record of today. Of much greater importance is that we design and start to build the Royal Air Force of the future that our successors will operate, fight and win within the battlespace of the future.”
Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston
Chief of the Air Staff
They also offer leadership training, professional development, mentoring opportunities, career placement services and more by organising seminars, conferences and business meetings and inviting senior engineers and community leaders to present papers.
"Diversity of thought, innovation, empowerment and representing our society are key themes which run through the organisation. Our partnership with AFBE-UK is a key element which will underpin the RAF’s recruitment, training, development and retention of the very best engineers and technicians, working on world-leading aircraft such as the F-35 Lightning, P-8A Poseidon and A400M Atlas."
Wing Commander McLaughlin
RAF Head of Engineer Branch and Trades
The RAF recruits more than 100 graduate engineers and in excess of 1,000 technicians every year. Twelve different career options, 10 apprenticeship schemes and opportunities to work on leading-edge technology, hone leadership skills, further your education and take part in sport and travel activities.
AFBE-UK Scotland has supported thousands of young people since it first launched in 2011. The organisation is part of AFBE-UK, which is based in London.
“The RAF has a strong focus on providing greater diversity and inclusion throughout its workforce, and we look forward to working with them to develop this. Our contact with the RAF began more than two years through Sgt Alan Cameron. I have been blown away by the force's dedication to ethnic diversity."
Chair of AFBE-UK Scotland
AFBE-UK Scotland provides mentoring programmes to support young people with their STEM careers. This includes its schools programme NextGen, where industry leaders and professionals give advice to pupils through entertaining events. Transition sees industry leaders help aspiring engineering professionals to enter the job market; while, Real Projects enables industry professionals to share their knowledge and expertise. These programmes were usually carried out in person, however, they are currently taking place online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
More information can be found at the official AFBE-UK Scotland website.