Our people are passionate about what they do, so it will come as no surprise to encounter multiple generations, partners and siblings working in our business.
There is no better advocate for a career than someone who is already doing it and loving it, and it’s something we actively encourage.
Engineering has traditionally been a male dominated field of industry, but it is a trend we are trying to change to encourage more diversity in the workforce.
With an anticipated shortfall of more than 60,000 engineers in the aerospace sector to the middle of the decade, and millions more needed across all engineering disciplines, STEM-based subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) have to be encouraged in schools to attract more young people into crucial engineer roles.
That’s why we became a founding partner in Cambridge LaunchPad, an initiative aimed at bringing STEM-based activities to the attention of schoolchildren between the age of 8 and 18 years.
We host a number of activity days every year where students come in for a day of hands-on activities.
The global pandemic has meant the majority of planned local events have been put on hold. However, LaunchPad has still managed to host more than 170 events in 2020, virtually and at the requisite social distance, perhaps further demonstrating technology in action.
Our LaunchPad events are facilitated by volunteers from our business, who give their time to help students get involved with activities that give an insight into the exciting opportunities available within the world of STEM, while breaking down perceived barriers, perceptions and gender stereotypes.
They design events to inspire students and let them see that engineering can be fun. We want them to think out of the box and to be as imaginative as possible.
Lockdown LaunchPad events have included students designing and flying paper planes virtually, while hands-on tasks pre-COVID saw them using 3D printing to design a water pump and a firefighting robot. We have also had youngsters designing and launching rockets and methods of transporting poppadoms across a span without breaking them.
And it’s not just about designing and building things. They also have to work within a budget and create a parts list – all key skills they’ll need if they pursue a career in industry.
It is estimated that engineers’ earnings are around a third higher than average manufacturing salaries, and 43 per cent higher than the national average, which could be seen as a further attraction to an engineering career.
The Government is said to be investing more than £400 million in education and skills in maths, digital and technical education to plug a shortage of STEM skills, with the aim of giving students the opportunity to pursue careers in aerospace engineering.
It has been widely reported that there’s been a 26 per cent increase in girls taking STEM-related A Levels in the last ten years, which is certainly an encouraging upturn.
Our LaunchPad events always receive enthusiastic feedback, and we’d certainly like to think we do our utmost to encourage more students, male and female, to pursue STEM subjects, and hopefully to consider a career in aerospace engineering.