When I joined Airbus in 2006 after leaving school with 11 GCSE's, I had no idea of the experiences and qualifications I could achieve through the Airbus Apprenticeship scheme. Inspired by the love of Product Design lessons; pulling things apart to see how they work, but a reluctance to return for A-Levels meant I had to find another way to achieve my aspirations. I still wanted to pursue my academic skills, whilst also learning a craft and gaining vocational qualifications. I found out about the Airbus Apprenticeship Scheme through a careers event in school and decided to apply.
I started as an Electrical Craft Apprentice and completed the three year course, which included qualifications such as a NVQ Level 3 and Key Skills, among others. On completion I took the opportunity to progress through to the Higher Engineering Apprenticeship, furthering my career and education, to achieve a Foundation Degree in Aeronautical Engineering and get a role as a fully qualified Engineer within the company.
As an Apprentice I was given the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities from intercultural experiences with French and German Apprentices, projects to encourage more women to consider a career in engineering, charity work, met local MP's and even the Prime Minister when I was asked to speak at the opening of the Airbus North Factory! I have also been involved in an event at the Senedd and the House of Lords to represent the company at a SEMTA Training Initiative and was also awarded Apprentice of the Year for 2009, an achievement I'm proud of.
Upon completing my Apprenticeship I worked in the role of a Quality Conformance Engineer. It involved performing the role as the site Subject Matter Expert in the field of Statistical Process Control, working with a transnational team to create a Light House standard for use across Airbus.
I have now progressed in my career to become a Group Leader for the A380 Quality Line side Function. Managing a team of 12, providing help with technical issues and ensuring the operators are fully enabled to build a quality product. During this role I have also been selected as a Rising Star for the Make it in Great Britain campaign 2012, which has run throughout 2012, highlighting manufacturing in Britain and how it contributes to the economy.
With Airbus' support I am now in my final year studying for a BEng Degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering. My eventual aim is to progress to a Master Degree, gain Chartered Status and further my career in Airbus.
In the current economic climate, I think that an apprenticeship holds the answers making possible to pursue an exciting career in engineering, as well as the chance to be a part of the future of aviation design and manufacture.