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Working with partners to deliver inspiring outreach

BAE Systems provides some of the world’s most advanced, technology-led defence, aerospace and security solutions and employs a skilled workforce of some 83,100 people in over 40 countries.

What we did.

BAE Systems delivers a number of different outreach opportunities:

  • Our annual Schools Roadshow in collaboration with the RAF and Royal Navy:
    • The Roadshow is a theatrical production aimed at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3; attendees are 75% secondary students and 25% primary students.
    • The Roadshow has three hosts – one male and two female. We decided to increase the number of female hosts in order to raise visibility and reinforce the perception that STEM careers are for both women and men.
    • The roadshow is available to all schools but we have mainly been targeting both schools in deprived areas and all girls schools.
  • Different business units also offer ‘Open Door Days’ and ‘Bring Your Daughter to Work Days’ - girls respond well to these days as they don’t have to compete with boys.
  • We regularly deliver the ‘People Like Me’ activity to girls, including the accompanying mothers’ session. As well as being trained to deliver ‘People Like Me’, our ambassadors are given training about how to interact with young people and deliver events.
  • We supplement all of our outreach activities with local advertising campaigns around our sites to recruit apprentices.

What we learned.

We have discovered a number of positive outcomes from all of our outreach activities:

  • One of the Roadshow’s main successes is embedding exciting career ideas at an early age - this year, by the end of the show almost all of the attendees expressed an interested in a career in robotics or similar subjects.
  • Using role models at the ‘People Like Me’ mothers’ session have made a notable difference. One of the main functions of the session is dispelling misconceptions and reassuring parents their daughters will be happy and successful in STEM careers – the role models make all the difference as they can explain their own experience and show how exciting and creative careers at BAE Systems are.
  • In past years, schools have sometimes been reluctant to promote apprenticeship opportunities. Where this has occurred, we have relied more on the local press to reach interested candidates. We have found that most apprentices who apply have discovered the opportunity via local advertising or our face-to-face events.
  • The number of female apprentices we have recruited is 26% in the 2016 cycle, up from 16.5% just two years before.
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