Connecting Education to Industry with the Red Arrows

19th Aug 2023

The North East STEM Hub team recently visited RAF Waddington, Lincoln to conduct a series of videos with the Red Arrows, aimed at showcasing the wide-ranging opportunities that young people can access if they continue studying STEM subjects.

Connecting education to industry, the interviews highlight potential career paths, hoping to inspire young people to study STEM subjects to open the opportunities for exciting and rewarding careers. The team conducted a series of 10 videos all about STEM careers and the 140 different job roles linked to the industry, as well as underlining 8 key employability skills. These employability skills include; aiming high, creativity, leadership, listening, problem solving, speaking, staying positive, and teamwork.

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, is one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams. The Red Arrows is comprised of pilots, engineers and essential support staff with frontline, operational experience.

The series of interviews included speaking to ten individuals all with different roles. For example, Flying Officer Natasha Nicholson, from Lancashire, joined the ranks before obtaining a commission as an Operations Officer. This role consists of day-to-day flight planning acting as a liaison between pilots, air traffic and external agencies.

Flight Lieutenant Amar Shah is an aerospace engineering graduate, originally from London, who traded a brief stint in the city for a career as engineer officer in the RAF. Now he leads several engineers across a broad range of disciplines.

Wing Commander Adam Collins, the Officer Commanding of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, said: “One of the key roles of the Red Arrows is to showcase the importance of the STEM subjects – they are fundamental not only to our team’s output, but they underpin so much of what the wider Royal Air Force does every day.

“The Red Arrows aim to inspire people through our precision displays, colourful flypasts and ground engagement and we hope this series of videos, which perfectly illustrate the skills, talents and knowledge of our dedicated colleagues, will highlight where a STEM career can take you.”

Claire Willis, Team Leader at the North East STEM Hub comments: “It was fantastic to get the opportunity to visit the Red Arrows and find out all about the huge range of job roles that are required to facilitate the safe operation of the display stunt team. Through these videos we hope that young people will be able to see that there are opportunities available for everyone to be part of that team in the future irrespective of their background.”

There are many unique and interesting career paths available to young people within STEM, these short videos are important for showcasing these different opportunities. At the Red Arrows they’re passionate about inspiring young people into STEM careers, believing the success of the RAF is largely thanks to the talented people in critical STEM roles like engineers, aviation technicians, and medics.

To watch the series of interviews please head to North East STEM Hub - YouTube or keep an eye out on our social channels.

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