Sandy Bodet, aged 21, has been training as an apprentice for more than two years at the Airbus plant in Saint-Nazaire. She works on the structural assembly of the nose cone of Airbus’ emblematic aircraft, the A380, as a structure fitter. Encouraged by her tutor, she took part in the 2012 edition of the annual "Meilleurs Apprentis de France – Best Apprentice in France" competition, and has been rewarded with the Gold Medal for Best Apprentice Aircraft Mechanic, Airframes. She will receive this prize at the French Senate on 6 March, just a few days before International Women’s Day (8 March).
Sandy Bodet remains modest about her success, explaining that she was initially going to take a literature Baccalaureate when she really wanted to do something more technically oriented, where she could work with her hands. “My father, who also works at Airbus on the A320, never thought that one day I would follow in his footsteps,” she says. She sees nothing unusual about women working on the shopfloor. “There are ten other women working in the same sector as me,” she explains.
“The example set by Sandy Bodet is really inspirational, it highlights the fact that a woman can work and flourish in a technical profession,” emphasises Thierry Baril, Chief Human Resources Officer EADS and Airbus. “We’re multiplying our initiatives to encourage more women to join us. Out of the 3,000 recruitments planned for 2013, our target is that 25% of them should be women. This, because I am convinced that a more balanced female participation at every level of the company and a better gender mix in our teams can only improve our performance,” he added.
Airbus – the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer – is a global company, employing some 59,000 people of over 100 different nationalities in design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain, as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China, Japan and in the Middle East.
Airbus has hired about 10,000 new staff members over the last two years to allow it to cope with an order book equivalent to seven years’ production, and pursue the development of new programmes such as the A320neo (new engine option) or the A350 XWB family. This recruitment drive will continue in 2013. In France, Airbus counts nearly a thousand work/study apprentices who can be found in all of the company’s functions. They are preparing diplomas going from CAP vocational training certificates to postgraduate degrees.
To discover the careers on offer at Airbus, go to http://www.airbus.com/work/
About the “Un des Meilleurs Apprentis de France” awards.
The aim of this competition is to transmit an artistic and technical culture to young people, and secure irreplaceable know-how for the future. The competition is open to young people under 21, undergoing Level V and IV initial training. Every year no less than 4,500 young apprentices from all over France take part in this competition, all hoping to be amongst the 288 medal winners. The participants must present work-related projects for assessment by a local, a regional and finally a national jury. The candidates selected from the 19 professions in the running took part in the final exams in September and October 2012.