Aerospace giant Leonardo is first defence organisation to forge partnership with ethnic minority association
Aerospace firm Leonardo is currently developing technology for a wide range of futuristic programmes including Tempest, the UK’s next generation combat aircraft at it’s Scottish base.
Bosses at the Crewe Toll-based company, which has a workforce of more than 2000 and develops radars for military use, have said that in order to be successful, it needs to “continuously innovate”, which includes creating an inclusive workspace.
Leonardo – which employs over 7,500 people across the UK – has forged a partnership with the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK) to attract a richer diversity of job applicants to the business.
Chair and Managing Director at Leonardo UK ,Norman Bone said: “To become more diverse, we are consciously reinforcing an inclusive work environment which embraces diverse talent.
"Forming links with organisations such as AFBE-UK will support this goal, helping to widen our appeal and attract a broader range of potential applicants, so that we can build a workforce which is ready to meet the challenges of the future.”
One Leonardo employee who has been supporting the development of the partnership between the company and AFBE-UK is Folayo Osekita, who leads the unit responsible for developing key communications technologies for the Tempest programme.
Mr Osekita said: “This new collaboration is the first of its kind within the aerospace and defence sector and sends a clear message that Leonardo is committed to creating an environment where everyone can bring their whole selves to work by working with external organisations to gain new insights.”
Co-founder of AFBE-UK Dr Ollie Folayan added: “We are delighted to be partnering with such an impressive company that has clear objectives to make their company an inclusive and fairer workplace for all.”
The new partnership follows Leonardo’s drive to make it easier for engineers to return to the work place.
The STEM Returners offers programmes to help highly qualified and experienced candidates restart their career after a break.
All returners who take part will have the opportunity to gain a full-time position with the company. The programme is open to women and men who have taken any length of career break, as well as those who wish to transfer sectors but don’t yet have the relevant work experience.