Technical Engineering Apprentice at BAE Systems

Start Date:
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3)
£18,200 annually
Review Date:
April 2016

Review Score


1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


I am currently a Technical Engineering Apprentice working towards my degree. During my four year Apprenticeship I rotate through various departments such as Stress, Aerodynamics, Materials , Systems, Design etc. This gives me a very good understanding of the whole business, and from there I can start to map out where I would like my final placement to be. As we are a support business I am very interactive with both external customers and fellow engineers. I have been involved with several projects in different departments, ranging from a customer narrow runway project to a fatigue review of the fleet.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


I am currently working towards my BEng (Hons) Mechanical Electronic Systems Engineering Degree at Glasgow Caledonian University. During my Apprenticeship I also gained a HNC Aircraft Engineering at Ayrshire College. I have also gained valuable not academic skills, such as time management skills, improved confidence and communication skills. Overall I am beginning to be 'shaped' into an engineer.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


So far I am really enjoying my programme. The ability to work with experienced engineers, getting a Hons degree and to be paid a fair wage is second to none. BAE Systems are known for high standard Apprenticeships and this one, so far, has not lived down to expectations. Being with other apprentices that are going through exactly the same as you is very comforting and I know we will help each other through University etc.

4. How valued do you feel by BAE Systems?


As my BAE Systems site only has around 250-300 people I am able to contact with the directors (through social and work events) as well as the managing director. I don't think many people would ever get to see their MD let alone meet them most days. During my apprenticeship I have had good praise from all levels of management, and this encourages me to do well. Also I am a member of the National Apprentice council for our site so I know the hard work BAE Systems makes regarding apprentices. However it would be good to be more involved with the 'wider' BAE Systems.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


Before we started we were invited for a induction evening with our parents. We were able to talk to current and ex apprentices as well as all the relevant people we would meet during our time. The training is well planned out with the Apprentices rotating every 4 months through various departments for around 3 years. We are given study leave before important exams and get all the support we need to do well.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


Our training advisor is based in Glasgow (as there isn't a need for one solely based in Prestwick due to the small numbers of apprentices)however he makes it a regular occurrence to visit us roughly every two weeks. Here we are able to talk with an 'open door' policy. Any questions/difficulties we have are genially answered/solved.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


We tend to have an 'unofficial' manager who tends to look after the Apprentices. Although not technically our line manager he organises all our placements and provides support for all the Apprentices 24/7. once and apprentice himself within the company he is very passionate and creates a positive attitude for the younger workforce. HR are good for organising College/University and help you with any business issues.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


As I am living at home and don't have to travel far to work then the salary meets my costs pretty well. we are also sent to university for 4 years (as well as college for 2 years before).

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


During my first year my colleagues and I conducted engineering workshops at local primary schools in Ayrshire (a total of 8 classes across 5 different schools) for the Ayrshire Business in the Community Apprentice challenge. We were awarded overall winner of the challenge for this. After the challenge I have been leading several workshops at primary schools with our most recent being at Galston Primary last month. I have also just attended the Young Engineers Science Club day at Dumfries house where we built a wind tunnel to show airflow over a wing. At this event I was approached by several schools asking if we can conduct our workshop at their Primary school in the near future.

I am also involved in a lot of community challenge work which encourages interaction and social events outside of work.

9a. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend? *


9b. Why? *

The opportunity to work for the global giant that is BAE Systems, along with getting a degree and a good wage is just brilliant. I know some people who have degrees struggling to get work, but this eliminates that risk.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems? *

The question I would ask them is how bad do they actually want it? and if they do then put in the time and effort to make sure it happens. Having a very well polished CV/application is key, its the first thing an employer looks at and it represents you. Also be yourself both in the interview and when filling out your application, people are very experienced and can see past lies. Make the most of the opportunities you get during your apprenticeship.

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