#NAW2018 Apprentice Case Study: Amelia

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2018, we’re catching up with some of our brightest apprentices who are building their careers across a range of industries, and finding out how they make a difference to the businesses from their employers.

Today we hear from Amelia Andrews, an Engineering Degree Apprentice at GE Aviation.

21-year-old Amelia Andrews started her apprenticeship at GE Aviation in 2015 and is working towards achieving her BEng in Electronic and Computing Engineering, whilst studying at GC. She chose to do an apprenticeship because she wanted to gain experience in the world of work and gain a good degree.

Amelia rotates around projects within the company, gaining experience in all aspects of systems, hardware and software, alongside apprenticeship personal and professional development to better her leadership, communication and organisational skills.

She said: “I really enjoy the diverse opportunities available within the company; having the chance to lead aspects resulting in a higher sense of accomplishment and the feeling of contributing towards a large industry.

“The highlight of my apprenticeship so far was having a leadership role in the Girls Get Set scheme, which inspires girls to aim for a career in engineering and STEM. I’ve also enjoyed running event days, putting across ideas to get senior engineers involved and the college side. Being able to see your learning put into practice at work makes it rewarding and you gain a great sense of achievement when you’re able to figure out complex problems.

“I would really recommend an apprenticeship as it allows you to mature quicker and develop all-round skills you would not necessarily get at university alone. There’s a high sense of being part of something which has a big impact, as well as the perk of being paid to study. I have been able to move out and rent my own accommodation with friends, so I’m still getting that university lifestyle, but with the ability to afford it.”

Tracie Gaston, Engineering Apprenticeship Manager at GE Aviation, says apprentices bring great value to the business as they are a key part of its Early Talent Pipeline, which fills the skills gap and ensures future growth.

GE started with a few smaller intakes for the first couple of years of its gold-standard apprenticeship programme but has since doubled its intake in line with business growth, and plans to continue.

Tracie said: “The programme started as a three-year foundation degree level and now we are putting the finishing touches to a seven-year option for our apprentices to continue to Master’s degree level. The goal is to grow our own systems, electronics and software engineers through this programme.

“Our apprentices get to do real work on real projects, so are adding value to important programmes like the Power Management System for the F-35 Lightning o the Electrical Load Management Systems for the Boeing 777.”

Current GE Aviation apprentices co-lead on the Girls Get Set, Imagineering and Cheltenham Science Festival programmes and they have also had apprentices who achieved IEng status within a year of graduating and are now leading their own teams of engineers.

Tracie added: GE looks for highly-motivated and highly-personable individuals who have demonstrated an ‘above and beyond’ attitude by being involved in extra-curricular STEM-based activities that demonstrate their genuine passion for technology. We look for individuals who enjoy working with others, have excellent communications skills and who genuinely want to work as part of large teams of engineers who inspire, motivate and support each other.”

If you’re considering launching your career via the apprenticeship route, find out more about GC’s award-winning apprenticeships, meet employers and apply for live vacancies at its Apprenticeship Open Evening on Wednesday 28 March. Visit www.gcapprenticeshipeve.co.uk to book your place.

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