George - Defence Aerospace Degree Apprenticeship Scheme
I have spent most of my working career as an apprentice, starting off as an advanced apprentice technician in the Royal Air Force (RAF). My working day consisted of fixing the latest fast jets or rotary wing platforms and travelling the world. I learnt my trade in a bespoke engineering facility in RAF Cosford. The learning never stopped post-graduation, with vocational on-the-job learning and RAF-specific training and development courses taking place.
Now as a degree apprentice with Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), I work within varied teams towards the implementation of top-level management plans and strategies I followed in the RAF. Whilst the work is varied, with no two days the same, my company has also allowed me a day release to the University of the West of England (UWE) to carry out my academic studies alongside work. This has been the perfect stepping stone from my previous apprenticeship and served as the next step in my working journey.
Both my apprenticeships are linked to aerospace and defence, but they are both wildly different in the work that needs to be carried out. These industries interact with so many others, which I believe has given me a great depth of knowledge of the UK industry. The requirement to develop myself whilst working has been a fantastic touchstone in my career journey to date, and I would recommend both my apprenticeships to everyone I've met. I will hopefully be seeking a master’s apprenticeship in the future. Although some might say I’ve made a career out of being an apprentice, I believe it is one of the best ways to learn and work in the UK.
To find out more about STEM apprenticeships, sign up to the GSE Profession event on 5th February at 2:30-3pm here.