We are committed to building a future workforce that is as diverse as the communities we serve. As part of that commitment, Facebook London has joined the Year of Engineering campaign’s November focus on how engineering is shaping the future and ramped up our efforts to reach more young people. Our combined efforts will encourage students to focus on science, technology, engineering, and math, and to pursue a career path that leads to a job in the technology sector.
Across the world, the demand for engineering and technology professionals is rising, but the supply of skilled professionals to fill those roles has not kept pace. By 2020, the U.K. alone will create 157,000 new jobs requiring deep analytical skills. As part of our commitment to the Year of Engineering campaign and to tackle this global skills shortage head-on, we are doing the following:
- We are launching a mentoring program for students ages 15-18 that’s designed to help bridge the gap between school and the workplace. Starting in November and continuing into 2019, mentors from Facebook London will meet with students five times during the academic year. Mentors will educate and train them in the skills they need for a career in engineering and technology so they can be better prepared to enter the workforce after graduation.
- We will host an open house day on November 16 at the Facebook London office, where students will be able to meet engineers and technologists, ask questions, and see demonstrations of the products we’re building in the U.K.
- We are exhibiting at the WorldSkills UK LIVE conference being held November 15-17 at the NEC in Birmingham, England. Facebook engineers will be on the Year of Engineering stand to offer attendees career advice and demonstrations of our products, focusing on future technologies such as augmented reality.
- We will produce a number of videos showcasing the variety of engineering work that Facebook is involved in.
- We will create a series of video interviews with engineers to be used as editorial content for the Year of Engineering portal and social media channels.
We are building deep relationships with organizations such as Anita Borg/Grace Hopper, SHPE, and NSBE, which support women and people of color in computer science and engineering. Internally, we are working toward building a culture of inclusion and authenticity while also supporting the next generation of engineers through our internship program. In the U.S., Facebook has launched CodeFWD, a free online program for educators and organizations to inspire interest in computer programming, and to expand underrepresented students’ access to and participation in the field.
In the past year, we have built and opened a brand-new London office and announced our plans to hire 500 additional employees, with an expected 2,300 employees in the U.K. by the end of 2018. Facebook London is our biggest engineering hub outside the United States; teams there focus on engineering and technology development for global products, including ads engineering, Workplace, community integrity, infrastructure and developer tooling, and AR/VR. The year ahead will mark a large engineering- and technology-focused recruitment drive for EMEA: We are always looking for talented engineers as we continue to grow and scale our teams covering product design, UX research, data science, machine learning, and software and hardware engineering.
Addressing the skills and diversity gaps is a long-term process, but we continue to work with government, industry leaders, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions to find effective and impactful solutions.
For more information about the Year of Engineering campaign, visit yearofengineering.gov.uk.
To learn more about CodeFWD, visit techprep.org/codefwd.