Movement to Work Programme - A Success!

A cohort of local young people have completed MBDA’s first Movement to Work Programme in Stevenage.

Movement to Work is a nationwide charity which was set up to tackle youth unemployment by offering work experience and employability training to young people who may be in need of a helping hand to get their foot on the career ladder.

MBDA joined ‘the movement’ and in June 2022, colleagues were asked to support the pilot of the scheme. The response was immense, with over sixty individuals from all corners of the business volunteering their time to the programme out of sheer passion for what it was aiming to achieve.


How was the programme run?

To kick the programme off, MBDA held an Assessment Day, where twenty-two candidates were whittled down to a final twelve. MBDA volunteers supported this day and were undeniably committed to finding young people who would take full advantage of the three-week opportunity.

The final candidates were confirmed, and on Monday 11 July they were invited to the Stevenage site to start their first week in employability training run by Francesca James from The Launch Group, an organisation who facilitate Movement to Work Programmes in companies nationwide.

The first week was built up of team building activities, workshops and presentation tasks. Workshop topics included Team Working, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Mental Health Awareness.


Week 2: Work Experience

Week two was Work Experience Week! Departments including Factory of the Future, UK Business Support Function, Cyber Security, Mechanical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, ISV, Hardware in the Loop and Finance all came forward, designing bespoke interactive sessions which would offer an insight into life in their department. This gave the candidates a unique opportunity to explore multiple areas of MBDA and network across all levels of the workforce.


Week 3: Employability Skills 

Week three included further employability workshops, including presentation activities as well as mock interviews and CV writing. This week specifically focused on preparation for the Celebration Event where each candidate had to prepare a presentation summarising their time and development while on the programme.


The Finale: Celebration Event

When the final day arrived, all MBDA volunteers, and the candidates themselves, were bought together in the QUAD (MBDA Stevenage's dedicated event space). This allowed all the volunteers to meet each other and share their experiences of the programme.

The candidate presentations commenced and the personal development that the candidates had made became unmistakeably apparent. One of the candidates even gifted their home-grown honey to all of the event attendees, to thank the volunteers and facilitators for their commitment to the programme.



What the volunteers and candidates had to say

Without our MBDA volunteers, running the programme would not have been possible. Their team spirit and passion was a celebration of MBDA’s core values and their will to make a difference was admirable.


Kate Gibson, Portfolio Benefits Manager supported the Mock Interviews and said:

‘I was really impressed by the motivation and maturity of all the participants I met during the mock interviews, and their willingness to engage in this leaning opportunity. On a personal level it was immensely rewarding to be able to share some of the tools, tips and experiences I’ve learnt during my career so far, and reflect on how my career and development has been enabled by the opportunities I had growing up, that not all young people receive.’


Greg Steele, BMS Configuration Officer, was an integral volunteer, supporting activities throughout the whole programme. He highlighted:

‘From being involved with the Assessment Day (as a Facilitator) to seeing the candidates present their final presentations (three weeks later), the transformation was astonishing. Their willingness to embrace this opportunity to help themselves develop was clear to see in those final  presentations. This programme has given them the confidence to successfully traverse life’s challenges that will inevitably appear along the way.’



Finally, Becca Wilson, UK Innovation Manager and another valued programme volunteer, said:

‘I am immensely proud of having been able to be part of the MTW programme. To witness the journey of a group of young people initially arriving onsite a bundle of nerves, anxious, uncertain yet with an undercurrent of curiosity and uneasy excitement; to then seeing a team of confident, eager, enthusiastic, resilient young adults presenting at the end of the 3 week programme, was absolutely phenomenal and really quite emotional! The candidates left with an excitement and optimism for the future, but they have also given me the gift of a moment of self-awareness, reflection and renewed energy on embracing change and making a difference in my role as leader.’


What’s next?

As a result of completing the programme, should the candidates confirm their interest in MBDA’s Apprenticeship scheme each will have the opportunity to attend an assessment centre with the prospect in joining one of our 2023 early careers programmes. MBDA are looking forward to seeing how each of their journey’s continue and hope to see a number of the candidates back in the business in the near future.

To register your interest in our apprentice opportunities starting in 2023 click the button below.

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