Strategies To Engage The Next Generation Of Workers

This article explores strategies to engage the next generation, the value of work experience, breaking stereotypes, and creating adaptable work environments that cater to both the upcoming workforce and organisational needs. It provides practical ways employers and employees can initiate meaningful steps toward supporting young people who are considering their options regarding their future careers.


Supporting Through Internships and Work Experience


Recent discussions around mandatory part-time work for young adults in higher education highlight the growing recognition and value of practical work experience. Gaining internships and work

experience is invaluable for young people as they bridge the gap between academic learning and real-world application, offering a hands-on understanding of industry practices and work culture. These opportunities allow individuals to build essential skills, develop a network of industry contacts, and gain insights into potential career paths. Additionally, they can significantly enhance a CV, making candidates more attractive to future employers.

For employers, internships provide a cost-effective way to evaluate and nurture emerging talent. They also allow companies to infuse new energy and fresh perspectives into their teams, fostering innovation and staying connected to the latest trends and technologies. Ultimately, internships create a mutually beneficial environment where young people gain valuable experience while employers can grow the next generation of professionals.


Employers can:


Offer Internships and Apprenticeships:

Create structured opportunities that allow young adults to gain hands-on experience in the space, aerospace, defence, and satcom sectors. These should be designed to provide a realistic insight into the industry while contributing to personal and professional growth. Programs like SPIN provide opportunities for those considering employment in the space sector and connect space sector organisations who want to find the most talented and enthusiastic people to ensure the future success of their businesses.


Engage in Educational Partnerships offering work experience or insights opportunities:

Whether it’s 1-2 weeks or a company insight hour for young adults, you can make a big impact and influence career choices. While many larger organisations have in-house teams to run these, they can be time-consuming, but organisations like Pathway can help by connecting students, schools, and employers. Collaborating with educational institutions and partners to incorporate industry-specific skills and knowledge really adds value and helps to prepare students for the workforce from an early age.


Employees can contribute by:


Volunteer Programs:

Volunteer as a speaker or mentor for students and young professionals. Sharing experiences, challenges, and insights can demystify the sector and encourage young talents to pursue careers in these fields. You can take part in a wide range of activities such as career chats, CV support, mock interviews, speed networking, University application support, or formal mentoring over a period of weeks. Organisations like Inspiring the Future can help to get you started.


Maximising Value from “Take Your Child to Work Day”


“Take Your Child to Work Day” offers a unique opportunity to inspire the next generation. To maximise its value without disrupting the workplace, consider:


Interactive Sessions:

Organise workshops or interactive sessions that allow children to explore the practical applications of space, aerospace, defence, and satcom technologies. This sector is incredibly interesting to young people, and you can utilise many practical and easy-to-run activities to engage those joining the session. And if you can’t do these in person…make them virtual! With so much of our lives spent on virtual meeting platforms, this is a great opportunity to showcase how your organisation adapts to remote work. Many meeting platforms offer features like classroom or breakout rooms, making it easier for you to incorporate collaboration and small-group activities into the sessions.


Career Talks:

Host short talks or Q&A sessions with professionals from different departments to showcase the diversity of roles within the industry.

Indeed offers their views and insights in this recent short article.


Breaking Stereotypes in a Male-Dominated Sector


Addressing gender stereotypes is crucial for creating an inclusive environment. This recent LinkedIn article by Dana Kirchmar highlights the critical role of male sponsorship in the aerospace and aviation sectors. Employers and employees can take practical steps:


Visibility of Role Models:

Highlight successful women and underrepresented groups within the industry through internal communications and panels and encourage them to work with those supporting the next generation.


Work with schools and higher educational institutions:

We’re aware that women are more inclined to pursue careers in the space sector when influenced during their school years or by a teacher (30% vs. 21%), or through programs like Space School UK (7% vs. 3%). Additionally, they’re more likely to have received private education (19% vs. 15%) (Data from the Space Skills Alliance 2020 Space Census). Therefore, the more effort we invest in educating and informing those who teach the next generation, the better.


Parents in the industry should:

  • Encourage Exploration: It’s obvious right?! Supporting children’s interests in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) from an early age encourages their enthusiasm.
  • Share Experiences: Discuss their work, challenges, and achievements openly with their children to spark interest and demonstrate the possibilities within the sector.


Overcoming Remote Work Challenges


While remote work offers flexibility, it can also present challenges in learning and integrating into the working world.


Virtual Integration Programs:

If you don’t or can’t implement in-person induction programs, then designing onboarding and integration programs that help new employees connect with their teams and understand the company culture is crucial – particularly important for those entering their first job with little working life experience.


Regular Check-Ins and Feedback:

Implement regular virtual check-ins and feedback sessions to ensure that remote employees feel supported and engaged. Get employers 1 year into their careers to host these sessions for new joiners; you may find they speak more candidly.


Create opportunities for them to connect:

Until now, opportunities for connection have primarily revolved around traditional educational settings like school, college, or university, where students are placed in classes or working groups. Alternatively, they may connect through various social channels, albeit more for social engagement with content rather than forming valuable professional networks. Therefore, it’s crucial to devise methods ensuring they have exposure not only to peers but also to individuals who can provide guidance and influence. This presents an excellent opportunity for reverse mentoring as well!


By taking these actions, employers and employees in the space, aerospace, defence, and satcom sectors can support the next generation in transitioning into the workforce, breaking stereotypes, and building a more inclusive and dynamic industry.


If you’d like support or are interested to know more, please reach out to Jules Hyam. We’d love the opportunity to discuss how these initiatives can be brought to life in your organisation.


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