Redressing the balance through Transition
23 June 2016 AFBE-UK

Transition London Event in June 2016 at LSBU

Nearly 50 students were in attendance at the AFBE-UK's first Transition event in London. The collaborative event between AFBE-UK and London South Bank University took place on 21 ? 22 June 2016. The event saw students from universities across London benefit from a series of employability workshops, CV review, mock interviews, group assessments and an engineering challenge on smart infrastructure.

Reports by Engineering UK indicate that there is lower representation of black and ethnic minorities (BME) in engineering professions which can be attributed to a wide range of socio-economic factors, one of which is a lack of professional advice at critical junctures in engineering career progression.

Nike Folayan, chair of the AFBE - UK explains why Transition is vital:

?Just 7% of working adults from the BME community pursue engineering careers. This under representation is the result of many factors, but this event focuses on giving students who are already keen to enter our industry that final push they need to transition from student to engineering professional. Some students don?t have the experience and confidence they need to produce a compelling CV or perform as well as they could at interview. Redressing the balance must mean the industry is inclusive of all diverse groups. That?s where Transition comes in and where we need support from within our industry?.

The event was supported by the ICE with 90% of attendees from Post-92 Universities. In attendance were volunteers from WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff, Tideway, Arup and Network Rail amongst many others. The feedback received from attendees was overwhelmingly positive.

The event concluded with an expert panel which brought together a fantastic panel of speakers including ; Engineer and TV presenter Yewande Akinola, Dr Ollie Folayan of AFBE-UK Scotland as well as Myrtle Dawes Director at Centrica. The event was followed by a vibrant networking and drinks reception in celebration of diversity in engineering.

The Keynote address was delivered Vice Chancellor of LSBU Prof David Phoenix speaking on the event he stated:

?Universities have a moral and social obligation to support graduates into employment and to help them reach their potential so they can make a full contribution to society based on ability not background or ethnicity. Events such as these help form peer to peer support networks and provide role models who can be so important in helping people achieve their ambitions and I am pleased to support AFBE in whatever way I can."

As a result of the success and clear demand for the programme. The London South Bank University's (LSBU) School of Engineering and AFBE-UK intend to organise another event in October. Check out our events page for details of the next event and how to register to attend.

The Dean of LSBU School of Engineering Prof David Mba summarised the successful collaboration by saying:.

"The School of Engineering is delighted to have partnered with the AFBE in delivering the ?Transition? event at its Southwark campus. It is imperative that we not only provide a high quality education in engineering but also support all our students in finding graduate employment. Events like this address the under representation of BME groups in the engineering profession. We look forward to growing our partnership with AFBE."

AFBE-UK would like to thank our volunteers from WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff, Arup, Tideway and Young Rail Professionals. Special thanks to Dr Safia Barikzai of LSBU for making the event a success.