STEM brands within the Impellam Group portfolio have appointed Chris Blackburn as Head of Corporate Social Responsibility to target STEM skills shortages.
Chris will support Lorien (technology and digital recruitment), SRG (life sciences recruitment), and Carbon60 (engineering recruitment) with addressing known skills shortages in STEM, as well as to drive local and regional charity initiatives.
In 2021, the IET reported that the UK had a shortfall of over 173,000 workers – costing the UK economy an estimated £1.5bn a year. Chris’ role will lead the STEM brands to play their part in bridging this gap by generating new STEM talent, invigorating talent communities, and improving accessibility to STEM careers. Chris joins with over 20 years’ experience in training and skills development.
Commenting on the appointment, Kelly Morton, STEM CEO, said:
“I am delighted to welcome Chris into this newly created role for Lorien, Carbon60 and SRG. In today’s world, we need to consider the ethical, moral, and social impact of our decisions for both people and the planet. With Chris at the helm of Lorien, SRG and Carbon60’s CSR and STEM talent strategy, I can be confident that we are always working towards the greater good and leaving behind a better world for future generations.”
“I am thrilled to join Lorien, SRG and Carbon60 at such an important time. I’ve loved meeting the passionate people that are already driving CSR all over the business, working with our senior leaders to develop our CSR strategy for STEM, and building a roadmap for the future. I’m excited to see the difference we can make.”
Chris has already begun implementing change, including setting up a new CSR alliance, running workshops at schools as an official STEM ambassador, developing a structured work experience programme for school leavers interested in a career in STEM, and running a STEM-wide survey to select a new charity partner for 2022/2023 – Lucy Air Ambulance for Children (registered charity 1138457).
Lucy Air Ambulance for Children (Lucy AAC) is a national charity that flies babies and critically ill children to hospital by aeroplane to receive specialist treatment and care.
For Chris, the decision is a significant one:
“It’s been wonderful to see how engaged everyone at Lorien, SRG and Carbon60 are and I feel really positive about our ability to drive change. Lucy AAC has links to our STEM background, but it’s also such a deserving charity and one that needs our support – only two in four children that need help receive it due to current funding. I’m hoping we can change that!”
Charlotte Young, Chief Executive Officer at Lucy Air Ambulance for Children, said:
“Lucy Air Ambulance for Children is so proud to have been chosen as Lorien, Carbon60 and SRG's charity partner. The enthusiasm, creativity, and energy that we have received from their talented employees has already given this small charity such a boost. The funds raised will make a huge difference to the lifesaving work that we do with children. We know that together we will achieve more".