Subsea Expo

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Talent Attraction and Acquisition

Talent Attraction and Acquisition

16 November 2022
Venue: Virtual event

The first in a new series of events from Global Underwater Hub (GUH) focused on how the underwater industry can work to build sustainable workforces, while understanding the skills challenges it faces.

This event, held via Teams, is aimed at personnel, human resource and recruitment managers and forms part of GUHís Workforce Sustainability special interest group.  A collaborative forum, the special interest group will work with industry and government to develop targeted programmes to attract, re-attract, convert and transition the right skills into the different sectors of the underwater economy.

With activities in the underwater industries growing, demand for talent is also growing.  The recruitment market, though, is proving challenging for almost all employers, so exploring all available sources of talent is crucial.  Attend this lunch and learn event to hear presentations from two organisations that can support companies to attract talent from sectors outwith the underwater arena.

Joint Force Alba will explain how former Armed Forces personnel have transferrable skills and capabilities that can be capitalised on by the underwater sector.  While the STEM Returners will highlight how their programme supports employers to recruit experienced candidates seeking to re-start their career.


11:45 - 12:30   Welcome

12:30 - 13:15   Introduction to GUH Workforce Sustainability Strategy and actions. Guest speakers will focus on attraction & recruitment and diversity & inclusion.
  • Emma Davies from Joint Force Alba (ex-military recruitment) will cover recruiting the skills and attributes of ex regular and reserve military personnel.  She will look at what skills and expertise ex-forces can bring as well as how to attract ex-military applicants to your organisation.
  • Anouska Carling from STEM Returners will discuss helping employers to attract, recruit, develop and retain the best talent enabling highly qualified and experienced to re-start their career or transfer their skills.
13:15 - 13:30   Looking ahead and close


Emma was an Army Reservist Officer for 13 years, during which time she served on operations in Iraq & Afghanistan & worked across the UK, Germany and the USA with the military. She retired from the Armed Forces as a Major. In her civilian career, Emma worked in HR & recruitment for more than 15 years and is a Chartered member of the CIPD. 

Emma now leads Joint Force Alba, a specialist ex-military recruitment consultancy, supporting Scottish organisations to recruit uniquely experienced & highly skilled Armed Forces talent. Joint Force Alba is now a team of 3 which includes military Veterans and spouses. In 2020/21, Emma was awarded Advocate of the Year at the Ex-Forces in Business Awards and in 2022, Joint Force Alba was awarded Gold in the Employer Recognition Scheme. 

Emma is also a trustee of Lothianís Veterans Centre, supporting this small, local military charity with HR and employability expertise. Additionally, she is a non-exec director of West Lothian Chamber of Commerce, providing the small/start-up business perspective into the Chamber as well as being the Armed Forces Champion for the Chamber. 

Anouska Carling is an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Manager with STEM Returners, a multi-awarding wining body that aids employers to recruit, develop and retain untapped talent.  She joined the organisation following 17 years leading teams in engineering recruitment in the oil and gas, automotive and aerospace sectors.

In her role, Anouska works with partners and host companies to grow, retain and innovate through a diverse workforce by developing tools and methods to enable progressive talent acquisition practices.  Passionate about ensuring there is an equal spread of opportunity and fairness for prospective candidates, Anouska is currently studying for her Level 6 Inclusion and Diversity qualification with the Chartered Management Institute. 

STEM Returners enables qualified and experienced candidates to re-start their careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) related roles.  It provides employers with access to new and overlooked talent pools, in doing so improving diversity and inclusion within the organisation.