As the working world changes, STEM and technical skills are becoming more important than ever, but there’s a global shortage of kids studying subjects that will help develop them, especially in economically deprived areas.
There’s also a gender imbalance, with far fewer girls choosing to study STEM subjects than boys. But we want the careers of the future to be open to all young people, regardless of their gender, race, or economic status.
Our Engineering team based at Heathrow airport are passionate about inspiring the engineers of tomorrow. This has involved then visiting various school delivering STEM inspired lessons and most recently they have created a series of four videos which aim to inspire young children by showing some of the principles of flight and the work of our engineering team. The videos are freely available to all schools through the below links.
Phil Wardlaw, our Vice President - Engineering and Maintenance is in charge of all our engineering and maintenance and a keen supporter of our Passport to Change programme. “In Engineering, we want to inspire young people to think about aviation and engineering as something they can all be a part of, and have an enjoyable career in," said Phil. "These videos aim to show young people, from all backgrounds, that Engineering is a career path available to them and can provide an interesting and fulfilling career.”
We also spoke to Laura Macshane, our Manager - Be Yourself and Community. “Our purpose is to enable everyone to take on the world, no matter your background or starting point. But too often, where you come from gets in the way of achieving your dreams," she said. "Passport to Change is how we deliver this purpose in the long term, for disadvantaged young people the in the communities we work in, and fly to. So having this programme back, after 18 months of pause, reconnecting with our partner schools and dreaming new ideas with our charity partners – it means the world, and we just can’t wait to get started.”
STEM-related skills are important for any number careers, and here at Virgin Atlantic it’s not only our incredible finance teams, pilots, engineers and IT wizards – it's our sales and marketing pros, fabulous cabin crew and our airports teams that possess these skills. In fact we all use them every day for things like problem solving; argumentation; critical thinking; creativity; action-planning; and leadership.