AFBE-UK launch drive to support next generation of engineers

Dr Ollie Folayan, chairman of AFBE-UK Scotland
Dr Ollie Folayan, chairman of AFBE-UK Scotland

An Aberdeen-based not-for-profit organisation has launched a campaign to inspire the next generation of engineers in Europe’s energy capital.

AFBE-UK (the Association for BME Engineers) Scotland promotes engineering as a career choice among young people from under-represented groups, particularly those of black and minority ethnic (BME) origin.

Aimed at young people aged between 12 and 18, the organisation’s NextGen initiative will welcome around 30 people for a community day in Aberdeen – with further events planned for 2016.

The pilot event will take place on Saturday, September 26 and will be held at the Fountain of Love Church on the city’s Palmerston Road, between 11am and 4pm. It will involve a series of fun games and challenges designed to test and enhance would-be engineers’ problem-solving, teamwork and communication skills.

Similar initiatives run in London and Nottingham by AFBE-UK has benefited more than 1000 young people to date. AFBE-UK members have carried out school visits to share their experience with young people with a view to encouraging them to consider a career in engineering.

Many members of the NextGen team are also STEMNET Ambassadors and are involved in activities to encourage young people to get involved in science technology, engineering and mathematics related subjects.

Dr Ollie Folayan,  Aberdeen-based chairman of AFBE-UK Scotland, said: “Too often, we hear reports of young people across the UK who are interested in pursuing a career in engineering but, for whatever reason, are unaware of the different routes – outside of university – available to them to achieve this goal.

“Whether that individual chooses to continue with further education or enter straight into the world of work after leaving school, it is clear that much more needs to be done to encourage young people to see engineering as a viable career choice.

“In my view, this is where initiatives such as NextGen have an important role to play in supporting the continued success of the oil and gas industry, and other engineering disciplines, by providing young people with the necessary tools to succeed.

“By going into schools, colleges and universities and engaging with young people, particularly those who come from under-represented groups in society, our members can help inspire the next generation of engineering talent.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the NextGen initiative, including attending the September 26 event, can register by contacting Ollie Folayan at info@afbe.org.uk

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