BAE Systems Chairman's Award Honours Advancing the Next Generation Program

Advancing the Next Generation, a workforce development initiative created by the BAE Systems Williamtown team in collaboration with RDA Hunter’s ME Program, received a top honour from BAE Systems’ global committee recently

Advancing the Next Generation, a workforce development initiative created by the BAE Systems Williamtown team in collaboration with RDA Hunter’s ME Program, received a top honour from BAE Systems’ global committee at a ceremony in Adelaide on Friday.

The BAE Systems Executive Committee awarded its Embracing Responsible Behaviour Award, one of only three Australian awards, to the Advancing the Next Generation Program which is set to be rolled out across the company’s national facilities.

Advancing the Next Generation delivers STEM qualified people in preparation for the job opportunities created by the company’s Defence and other contracts.

The initiative engages, inspires and develops a diverse pool of young people to enable BAE Systems to recruit the engineers; and structural, mechanical and avionics tradespeople it needs.

RDA Hunter’s ME Program has been intrinsically involved in the development of the initiative. Delivering the ‘Inspire’ pillar of the program, ME provides STEM experiences, mentoring, industry relevant curriculum and work placement opportunities for Hunter school students studying STEM subjects. It also provides career pathway programs like STEM-Ex and STEM-ships to help bridge the gap from school to recruitment.

“Advancing the Next Generation is our flagship strategy for recruiting the skilled engineers and tradespeople we need for the future,” said Head of Engineering, Aerospace, BAE Systems, Mr Andrew Chapman.

“It relies on a pool of motivated young people looking for careers in STEM and Defence – which is exactly what our long and successful partnership with RDA Hunter has delivered. The ME Program has and will continue to play a major role in this initiative and securing our future workforce.” continued Mr Chapman.

According to Dr Scott Sleap, Director of RDA Hunter’s ME Program, Advancing the Next Generation is a very valuable initiative that is creating much interest among senior school students.

“The ME Program has been a significant contributor to the design and implementation of Advancing the Next Generation and we are very pleased to play a leading role in its delivery. Our Program inspires Hunter students to engage in STEM activities and develop an interest in STEM careers from an early age.”

“Our results have been outstanding to date and working with global giants like BAE Systems that offer real and exciting career opportunities has inspired our students to choose STEM subjects, pursue STEM careers and stay in the Hunter.

“We are delighted to have been honoured alongside the BAE Systems’ Williamtown team for this outstanding and highly successful initiative and the role we have played in bringing it to fruition.” continued Dr Sleap.