An Aberdeen-based engineering expert has called for greater support to help students develop the necessary skills to safeguard the industry’s future prosperity.
Dr. Ollie Folayan, chairman of AFBE-UK Scotland, was invited to address a group of around 70 educators, researchers and engineers from across the UK at the London South Bank University in recognition of the work undertaken through the not-for-profit organization’s Transition initiative.
Representatives at the Educating Enterprising Engineers & Scientists conference, held at the university’s Nathu Puri Institute, shared ideas and examples of best practice for embedding enterprise in to engineering education.
AFBE-UK (the Association for BME Engineers) promotes engineering as a career choice among young people from under-represented groups, particularly those of black and minority ethnic (BME) origin.
An AFBE-UK group, including Ollie Folayan, Nike Folayan and Philip Enegela, were invited to attend the conference following the submission of an academic paper, titled “Impact of role models on the progression from student life to the world of work.”
The paper by Folayan, Folayan and Enegela demonstrated the importance of preparing university graduates for the world of work, citing examples from skills and employability program, Transition, which is currently being run by AFBE-UK in Aberdeen.
Transition, which aims to help the next generation of engineering professionals develop the right skills and experience to benefit industry, has supported more than 200 university students since its launch in 2012.
As a result of the initiative, a number of young professionals have progressed through education in to senior management roles within the North Sea oil and gas industry. There are plans to roll out the program to other AFBE-UK chapters in the UK, including London.
“AFBE's presentation was unique amid the discussion of the dearth of skilled, creative and business focused engineers, as we were the only organization that had actually engaged prospective engineers from the early years through to education, and subsequent quantum leap to a career as an engineering professional,” said Ollie Folayan. “All of the available evidence makes a compelling case for the need of a program, such as Transition, to ensure young people throughout the UK are leaving education properly equipped with the necessary skills that employers are looking for.”
The Scottish division of AFBE-UK is led by Dr. Ollie Folayan, a senior process engineer consulting at a leading oil and gas major. The organization has chapters in Aberdeen, London and Nottingham.
Image: Dr. Ollie Folayan/ AFBE-UK