Guest Blog by Tim Gibson, Vice-President of Fujitsu Defence & National Security and Defence & Security Board Chair at techUK
I’m delighted that Fujitsu will be a Tier 1 sponsor of the RAF100 initiative in 2018. Celebrating the Royal Air Force’s 100th anniversary as the world’s first independent air force, we’ll be commemorating the very best of the UK’s RAF – its past, present and future.
While any celebration commemorating 100 years will naturally have a focus on the past – changes, challenges, and achievements – RAF100 will also be looking forward to the future of the Service. And in my role as Chair of the Defence & Security board at techUK, it’s this forward-thinking that excites me most.
Strong advocate of STEM
Having supported the RAF for more than five decades, our two organisations have a great deal in common. We’re both strong advocates for getting young people involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
But there is currently an alarming skills gap in this area that is costing our economy an estimated £63 billion a year. With a digital future, where businesses, products and services will increasingly rely upon technology, this gap and cost could easily grow.
If the UK fails to address this shortage, our economic prospects will be severely weakened. So, looking to the future and securing the skills of tomorrow is a key part of what RAF100 is all about.
Tomorrow’s pervasive technologies
The digital revolution has seen the pace of change continually accelerate. The likes of artificial intelligence and the internet of things are emerging technologies today that will become pervasive tomorrow.
They have the potential to liberate and empower. They can develop new opportunities for business to generate value, and for people to forge new careers.
But this raises difficult questions around how we can equip the workforce of tomorrow with the digital skills that future employers will need.
At Fujitsu, we aim to work hand-in-hand with our customers to tackle the Digital journey together. This Digital co-creation blurs traditional customer-supplier boundaries that we’ve been used to in the past.
But by adding value through this approach, Fujitsu builds on trusted relationships with customers, to understand their goals as well as their challenges.
Sharing our innovative thinking and going beyond simply reacting to requirements in a transactional way enables us to help customers understand what’s possible. Adopting this human-centric approach, and empowering people with advanced technology is the only way to deliver the full benefit of digitalisation.
Empowering the next generation
Only by bringing these technologies together can we make sense of this increasingly complex digital world. And this brings me back to RAF100, and the importance of forward-thinking.
By helping commemorate those brave individuals who have shaped the RAF’s past, Fujitsu wants to help the RAF inspire the next generation to become a part of its future, by pursuing a career in these crucial STEM subjects.
We offer a broad range of employment schemes at Fujitsu aimed at young people who are looking to embark on STEM careers. These include Graduate schemes, industrial placements and apprenticeships. All of which are designed to help develop future leaders.
I believe that with schemes like these, along with the right education, encouragement and professional opportunities, the UK can look forward to a bright digital future. And by doing so, we will secure the skills of tomorrow.
I hope you will be able to participate in some of the RAF100 activities during the year. And if so, I look forward to meeting you then.
For any further information about the RAF100 dinner or the Defence programme, contact: