Case studies of our past and present apprentices

Katie Lockwood

Prior to applying for the Aeronautical Engineering Apprenticeship with AirTanker, Katie had been studying engineering at Lincoln University Technical College.  

"I was completely sold. The fact that I could study engineering, the impressive equipment and the links with employers was really appealing.  I also liked the fact that I could work with my hands to make things and apply my learning in a practical way.”

Whilst at Lincoln, Katie decided to apply for an engineering apprenticeship with AirTanker, a consortium of the leading aerospace companies delivering the Ministry of Defence contract for RAF Voyager. The application included multiple interviews, aptitude tests and a written exam, following which Katie was one of six young people to be selected from 300 to take up an apprenticeship.

"I'm really proud I managed to secure a place. What helped was the experience I had at Lincoln. I had lots of opportunities to speak to employers and work on projects with them. This made me more confident in the interview.”

“Studying engineering at Lincoln UTC has meant that I can get started in my career two years earlier than if I’d stayed at my previous school. It’s a great step forward and will help me to become a qualified aeronautical engineer much more quickly.”

Since starting AirTanker's apprenticeship scheme, Katie has come a long way and is looking forward to completing her training at Resource Group and starting her placement at AirTanker.

"I have gained a better understanding of the technical workings of the aircraft by working through the individual modules and I feel more confident now that my knowledge is growing. I have really enjoyed meeting and working with the different airlines apprentices as they all give support to get through the course."

"I am really looking forward to starting my placement at AirTanker and gaining even more experience."


6 Months into the Apprenticeship

Bradley Evans

"From the start of the apprenticeship, I have learned how highly regulated the aircraft industry is and how human factors play a key role in what we do."

"My biggest challenge has been coming into this with no aviation background or experience and limited understanding of aircraft systems and having to learn everything from scratch. The workshop has been a nice break from the classroom phase and was good to get some hands on experience to consolidate our knowledge on what we had been learning in the books."

"Working alongside other airlines has been a great experience - I have made a good group of friends which I believe I will stay in contact with after I leave Resource Group."

"Apprenticeships in general are a great way to learn a trade and get paid whilst you learn. AirTanker especially offers a great opportunity to pursue a career in the aviation industry and are very supportive to help you through your initial training."

Further testimonials are shown on our Apprenticeship home page.

Applications for this apprenticeship scheme have now closed.

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AirTanker increase the altitude at Queens C of E Academy

by Sara Chubb | Aug 01, 2017
With the school summer holidays well underway, we look back at when AirTanker visited Queens C of E Academy, Warwickshire, and gave the school an experience to remember; discussing and demonstrating the roles and responsibilities of life in the contrails.

Dedicated to investing in our future workforce, when approached by the school to be involved in their Enterprise week, AirTanker responded with an automatic and resounding yes! By providing the next generation with the opportunity to learn, understand and experience aviation, we hope to inspire future career options within the aviation industry.

Brian Richter, AirTanker SHE & Export Control Manager, started the day with excitement by arranging the assembly chairs into an aircraft seating plan, including wings and engines, to give the pupils a full airline experience. He said:

“It was a privilege to go out and engage with the children of Queens C of E Academy and talk about what we do, how we do it and why we are here. It was a fantastic day and turned out better than we could have imagined, based on the questions and interaction we received from all 240+ exceptionally well-mannered pupils. We look forward to encouraging the next group of children to dream big.”

Chelsea Thomas, AirTanker Cabin Crew, gave the children a practical insight into her role and responsibilities.  With passports and boarding passes in hand, the children were given an opportunity to follow Chelsea and complete a safety check with her in preparation for their "flight", later fluently demonstrated by the children live with ITV.

Emma Farrell and Ken Berry from AirTanker’s Fleet Engineering Compliance department talked to the students about the role and responsibilities of aircraft maintenance engineers.  They also gave a presentation on the basic theory of aerodynamics, after which the children were asked to make paper aeroplanes to put the theory in motion and visually see the effects of lift and thrust.  Ken Berry said:

“It was so refreshing to talk to children that were willing and open to hearing and learning about aviation. The children were an absolute credit to the school and its ethos - for me the most important thing to get across to the children, building on the school’s ethos to dream big, was that they can be and do anything they want. It was a really enjoyable day, so much so I think I enjoyed it more than the children.”

With National Women in Engineering Day recently celebrated [23rd June 2017], this visit not only hoped to inspire young children and promote the career paths available in the aviation industry, but raise awareness of the amazing careers in engineering and technical roles available to both men and women alike.

Queens C of E Academy Enterprise Week was created to inspire the children to raise funds for their minibus appeal.  ITV presenter, Des, attended and reported on the visit as part of ITV's 'School Stories' series. The school invited over 20 visitors to join in and talk to the children about their trades and career journey’s.  Julie Richter, Queens C of E Academy, said:

“Our busiest day by far was when AirTanker staff joined us and opened the world of aviation and engineering to our children. The children were immediately engaged with the activities as they "boarded flight QA - 2017" and were welcomed aboard by Chelsea Thomas. An incredible day raising aspirations and funds and we thank Airtanker staff for supporting our Enterprise Week and for going the extra 126 miles.”

Associated videos: