RS Components has partnered with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) to host the second annual REflect event and National Day. The event, to be hosted online this year, invites engineering and technology companies and professional engineering institutions to engage with under-represented groups of young people around the UK.
With a special emphasis on highlighting the innate technology skills of 18 to 25-year olds in BAME communities, this enterprise has been created to stimulate industry peers into doing more to meet the ethnicity imbalance in UK engineering positions, where statistics from the Royal Academy of Engineering note that employees are 94% white, currently. According to an IET survey conducted last year, over 12% of engineering organisations in the UK have pledged to actively recruit from minority groups. This indicates a 33% increase in engagement over the two years previously, which is a step forward, but shows that many companies are sluggish in their efforts to include diversity and are missing opportunities to draw talented young people into their workforce.
The Grass Roots Engineering and Technology Youth Empowerment team at RS Components has collaborated with the IET to develop a thought-provoking programme of discussion sessions for REflect 2020, to be hosted online on Friday 31 July 2020. The business-focused morning session is being opened by Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, president of techUK, and will highlight talks by representatives from RS Components, the IET, AFBE-UK, INvolve-The Inclusion People, GSK and the EY Foundation. The speakers will invite attention to the shortfall of engineering skills from under-represented groups, suggesting positive steps that can be used to mitigate this and effect change.
Isabella Mascarenhas, VP Grass Roots at RS, said: “The ability to be skilled in STEM subjects has no boundaries, and we have the collective capability within our industry to inspire and embrace young people from any background into a rewarding career in engineering and technology. REflect 2020 will provide an insightful window into how and why companies should take action to help young people realise their potential, and ultimately play their part in addressing the UK’s engineering skills shortage.”