In the coming years many more people will fly in the world than today, especially in emerging economies. We will need to protect and build more airplanes, that are more complex and technologically advanced, with levels of operating efficiency and environmental compatibility such to meet market demands and rising traffic volumes in a sustainable manner.
The application of the technologies needed to reach these performance targets require new expertise and professionalism that the labour market of western countries will need to supply. One of the examples of the most significant skill shortages are engineers with experience in composite materials, vital for streamlining aerostructures and consuming less fuel. Sector experts and opinion leaders still agree that this problem affects many areas of engineering, including more traditional segments, and it can only be partly tackled by trying to attract qualified resources from China and other Asian countries, where these disciplines are more popular.
Leonardo is well aware of the critical nature of these trends for the sustainability of its business. This is why it is one of the Aerospace, Defence and Security sector players that support the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) programmes which the UK Government has been promoting since the sixties. The aim of the programmes is to interest and attract students of all type of technical and scientific subjects. This vital approach nourishes today the pipeline that can become the engineers of the future, in areas where the Group is present, thus maintaining an active stronghold over a strategic competitive factor.
Leonardo organised over 30 STEM project events in 2015 in collaboration with leading non-profit making or industry organisations dedicated to the world of science and engineering.
The Group’s commitment is mainly made up of donations in kind and the work time of approximately 500 company employees, interns and recent graduates who donated their time and professional expertise to the community, both during ordinary working hours and over the weekend.