Young Professionals in Defence networking forum launched by ADS

Posted on 6 Dec 2011
Some members of ADS's Young Professionals in Defence Forum at launch

The aerospace and defence trade body creates a new networking body for young professionals in the defence industry to meet and share best practice

A best practice sharing network for young people working in the defence sector was launched by trade association ADS on Monday evening.

The ADS Young Professionals in Defence Forum (YPDF) was announced by the Shadow Business Minister Chi Onwurah MP, who is an engineer, at the ADS Defence and Security Reception attended by MPs and defence industry officials.

The forum is an opportunity for networking across industry and the sharing of best practice. Meeting quarterly with lectures and site visits, the forum will bring together representatives from industry, the Armed Forces and parliamentarians, and aims to highlight the benefits of industry to those embarking on their career.

The forum also hopes to provide an opportunity for defence sector decision makers to engage with the workforce of the next generation.

“For any industry to thrive, it needs to compete for and retain the most talented of its young people,” said Rees Ward, chief executive of ADS. As one of our leading graduate employers, the UK Defence industry is already an attractive place to work, providing opportunities to develop challenging and rewarding careers. The Forum will add to this experience by presenting an opportunity to network and share ideas within their own peer group.

Shadow business minister Chi Onwurah said: “I know from my own experience the value of professional networks such as the YPDF in supporting those who might otherwise feel isolated and ensuring everyone can benefit from each others’ experience.

“I’m sure it will become absolutely essential for young professionals in the industry. It has the potential to play a big role in attracting more women into the industry, and just as importantly, keeping them there once they’re in.”

Companies attending whose employees had joined the new forum included Thales UK (Belfast), MBDA, BAE Systems and Cobham.