Oct. 14, 2014, Farnborough, U.K. - Seventy four high flying engineering apprentices have been welcomed to British Airways this week, ready to begin their careers at one of the world’s leading airlines.
By Stacy Bradshaw
These apprentices will join one of the three engineering programmes offered by the airline: industrial apprenticeship; cabin appearance apprenticeship or engineering business support apprenticeship. All these schemes have been revamped this year to make them more tailored to the particular needs of the airline’s busy maintenance teams.
The 62 industrial apprentices will complete a three year program supported by Farnborough College of Technology and the Semta Apprenticeship Service. The new recruits will train on the job, with one day a week at college in the first year. They complete training in different areas of the business, learning the skills required to maintain the airline’s fleet of more than 260 aircraft. Throughout their apprenticeship they will earn a competitive wage and work towards the completion of either an NVQ level 3 or Cat A Licence.
The 12 cabin appearance apprentices will complete a two-year scheme also supported by Farnborough College of Technology and Semta. Their focus will be on learning how to improve and maintain the external appearance of our aircraft and cabins to ensure they are of the highest quality. This program was introduced last year and will continue again this year.
Fifteen business support apprentices will start their two year scheme in January 2015. This focuses on in-house training to support the business and administrative needs of the world-class engineering department. The new recruits will complete either an NVQ 2 or 3 with support from the Semta Apprenticeship Service and training provider First for Skills.
All the apprenticeships are underpinned by an in-house personal development scheme called Engineering ME. This is a program of technical, behavioural and business training that supports creating fully rounded and capable employees that match our business needs.
Welcoming the apprentices to their three-week long induction programme, Kath Curry, British Airways’ skills and learning development manager, said: “This is the first day of what will hopefully be a long, varied, successful and enjoyable career with British Airways. You will be given all the training and support you need to become a valued employee of the airline. All we need from you is dedication, enthusiasm and a commitment to hold true to our values of safety, delivery, and reliability.”
Apprentices have a significant role to play in shaping the future of British Airways. The airline is in the middle of a $5 billion investment program which will see the introduction of new aircraft, new products and an ever-improving service for customers – all of which require the skills of a world-class engineering team.
Andy Kerswill, British Airways’ director of engineering, himself a former engineering apprentice with the airline said: “Every year we recruit many excellent apprentices to join our engineering teams. I’m delighted that 74 new recruits have joined us this week and I know they will have a fantastic career with British Airways Engineering. They will help make us all stronger as we continue to expand our fleet of aircraft, with ever more technologically advanced systems and cabin products.”
British Airways also offers nine further apprenticeships in other areas of the airline, including IT, finance and operations.