Royal Air force Takes Off with AFBE-UK Scotland


Royal Airforce Takes Off with AFBE-UK Scotland

AFBE-UK Scotland, a not-for-profit organisation that encourages diversity and inclusion, has announced that the Royal Air Force (RAF) is the latest notable name to join its roster of partners. 

Aberdeen-based AFBE-UK Scotland supports all young people, particularly those from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds, with career aspirations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The RAF is the latest organisation to join AFBE-UK, a platform for sharing ideas and supporting diversity and inclusion strategies. Other partners who signed up recently include SSE and the Mercedes F1 team. 

Headquartered in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire with stations across the UK, the RAF is the aerial warfare force that monitors potential threats to the UK’s airspace.

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston said: “People are at the heart of everything the Royal Air Force 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.” 

The Royal Air Force 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. 

Wing Commander Suzanne McLaughlin, Royal Air Force, Head of Engineer Branch and Trades, said: “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.” 

Dr Ollie Folayan, chair of AFBE-UK Scotland, said: “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”.

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. 

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, 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 ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.