We’re proud of our strong track record of contributing productivity and social value in the regions and communities where we live and work. One key way we make a positive societal and economic contribution is by supporting high value jobs and nurturing advanced skills in our business and supply chains, as evidenced by our ongoing student partnership with IN4 Group.
In 2020, we launched a partnership with IN4, a skills, innovation and start-up services provider that specialises in supporting businesses with the training, communities, networks and advice they need to scale and enhance their innovation ecosystems. By participating in IN4’s Skills City, graduates from its ‘Skills Bootcamps’ have the opportunity to receive mentoring, coaching, and hands-on experience from BAE Systems team members.
Since the inception of Skills City, BAE Systems’ endorsement has supported 473 students with access to digital technology skills and training. As part of this, it has immersed 60 learners in its operations and innovation plans through ‘Factory of the Future’ projects, resulting in BAE Systems employment opportunities for two students and one patent filing. Sixty-seven percent of the participants currently work in digital and tech jobs at companies including Microsoft, Samsung, CGI, and KPMG.
Through the partnership, IN4 is closer to fulfilling its goal of closing the digital skills gaps across Lancashire and Greater Manchester and increasing access to opportunities for talent with diverse backgrounds. Of the 473 students who have completed IN4’s requisite Digital Skills Bootcamp so far, 32% are women and 56% are BAME.
We are excited about the robust pipeline of students IN4 is developing for Skills City and the digital technology workforce. A programme graduate, Kelsey Brooks, shares: “I had the opportunity to work on a really important industry project with BAE Systems, which I would never have been able to do without IN4. The project was a great insight into how industry works and how different the working environment is to university. I originally wanted to work in academia after completing a PhD, but I’ve realised that working in industry feels a lot more impactful to me. This has led to me to discovering new career options that I’d never even heard about before I’d joined the bootcamp!”
One of the most successful projects, which is still used in current training, was from Skills City graduate, Aminah Ahmed, who now works as a junior dev-ops engineer for Sparta. She said: “I applied for various grad schemes, but due to my lack of industry experience, I had no luck. While working on a project with a high-profile company like BAE Systems was nerve-wracking at first, it was invaluable. I’ve grown as an individual, become resilient and I’m much more confident in my abilities.”
Through our continued partnership with IN4, we look forward to providing more students with experiences that will enhance their skills, grow their confidence, and broaden their career prospects. Mo Isap, CEO of IN4 Group and founder of Skills City, said: “We see an opportunity to readdress the challenge of diversity across technology sectors, and our partnership with BAE Systems is the perfect example of how collaborations between universities, SMEs, large enterprise, government investment and local talent can truly make a difference.” Mo is also confident that their diverse local talent “will continue driving forward their careers as a force to be reckoned with.” We could not agree with him more.