A leading North East advocate of greater diversity and inclusion in the oil and gas industry was part of a delegation to visit No 10.
Dr Ollie Folayan, chair of Aberdeen-based AFBE-UK Scotland, was among a number of delegates to meet Nero Ughwujabo, a special adviser to Prime Minister Theresa May on social justice, opportunities and young people.
AFBE-UK, the UK organisation of which AFBE-UK Scotland is a member, was invited to hold talks with Mr Ughwujabo at Downing Street. They discussed how to tackle the low attainment of young BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) people in education, in the transition to employment and in leadership.
Ollie said: “We’re delighted to have been given the opportunity to raise a number of things and put forward possible solutions at the very centre of government. In recent times, progress has been made but there is still much to be done, such as highlighting to business the opportunity to fill the skills gap in the science, technology engineering and mathematics arenas.
“We thank Nero for his time and we look forward to the potential of positive outcomes as we follow up dialogue.”
Dr Folayan and his sister, Nike Folayan, chair of AFBE-UK, led the presentation along with other AFBE-UK members. In addition, AFBE-UK invited the head of diversity and inclusion at Royal Academy of Engineering, Bola Fatimilehin, to join them at the Downing Street meeting.
The UK engineering sector is currently experiencing a shortage of skilled professionals. Only 7.8% of UK engineers are from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds, although an average of 25% of engineering university graduates are from BME backgrounds.
Diversity and inclusion successes in the Scottish energy and engineering sector will be celebrated with the first AFBE-UK Scotland Awards in Aberdeen on Wednesday, November 21 (2018).
There are three awards: Company of The Year; Outstanding Mentor Award and BME Young Professional of the Year. The theme of the dinner and awards night is The Energy Future of the UK, with Oil & Gas UK chief executive Deirdre Michie the keynote speaker.
AFBE-UK Scotland is a not-for-profit organisation that encourages young people, particularly those of black and minority ethic (BME) origin, to consider a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). It has supported more than 1,000 people – from youngsters to industry professionals – through a series of Aberdeen events that have included senior managers engaging with primary pupils, to talks by oil and gas industry leaders.