Apprenticeships are a great way to build your skills while earning, and we fill hundreds of these programme roles across our commercial, helicopter and defence and space divisions - from HR and the back offices to the production lines and clean rooms. 

UK National Apprenticeship Week has been all about recognising the benefits an apprenticeship can offer for those looking to start their career. So what did this look like at Airbus in the UK for 2024?


Apprenticeships and aerospace

The sectors Airbus leads in - aviation, space, cyber, defence and more - are highly technical fields that rely on the passing down of institutional knowledge through hands-on training with experienced professionals. Apprenticeship programmes are a vital enabler of this process for Airbus and the wider industry. 

They’re also a great option for people looking for a post-school alternative that allows them to tailor a career path to their strengths. 

We have carefully designed our apprenticeship programmes to give these future aerospace professionals valuable practical training while they complete their studies.

In the UK, our commercial aircraft business employs the most apprentices, with more than 250 across our two major sites in Broughton and Filton. Defence and Space has 71, and Helicopters - our smallest division in the UK - employs 5.

“I believe working on the job and gaining your skills that way is much more effective,” said one of our helicopter programme apprentices based in Oxford. 

Airbus looks for people who have a passion for learning and want to work in an industry that is always looking to the future. We support that by paying for apprentices who complete their apprenticeship to take their studies on at university.


Something new in Newport

In September 2023, Airbus Defence and Space Newport site welcomed its first ever cohort of Degree Apprentices. 10 apprentices joined Cyber UK across Cyber Security, Test, Hardware and Software Engineering.

This was a major step forward for the site's strategic ambition to grow the number of early careers employees at Newport campus, with a further six apprentices scheduled to join the team in September 2024.

Alongside their work at Airbus, each apprentice attends university one day per week for the next five years to complete their undergraduate degree. The Cyber team at Newport works closely with the universities to ensure that the work the apprentices carry out onsite aligns with their academic studies.

Airbus Defence and Space strongly believe that recruiting apprentices is a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. It allows them to learn from first principles the way we work here at Airbus, and brings them into the Airbus family from the outset.

One of our new apprentices highlighted, “the chance to work with the team in Newport, with so many different engineers who are experts in their field; from the day I got here it’s just been non-stop learning.”

In addition to the growing cohort of apprentices at the Newport site focused on cyber security, there are over 30 apprentices each at the Portsmouth and Stevenage sites developing skills for the future space industry.

A week of wins

Our celebration of UK National Apprenticeship Week involved a full schedule of activity across our sites throughout the country. Lucky for you, we're able to share the key highlights!

An array of apprentices from across all parts of Airbus UK took over Westminster in London, attending a reception put on by the ADS Group in Parliament on Tuesday. They had the opportunity to meet senior government officials and network with apprentices from other companies in the sector.

National Apprenticeship Week in the UK

On Tuesday, we hosted a STEM Day in our Filton plant for local schools, with 58 students on site to learn about the opportunities of a future career in aerospace. We partnered with the British Gliders Association to host a Go Gliding quiz, which gave entrants the chance at winning £500 to spend on gliding lessons for a week!

National Apprenticeship Week in the UK

On Wednesday we were delighted to be joined by The Rt Hon Robert Halforn MP, the Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, at our Filton plant. He was shown around the site by our apprentices, who then sat down with him to talk about all things aerospace apprenticeships.

National Apprenticeship Week in the UK

Also on Wednesday, apprentices from our Defence & Space division visited two local schools to talk to students about what a career at Airbus can offer them. It also gave our apprentices a brilliant opportunity to practise their public speaking skills and engage with people who might become the next generation of apprentices!

National Apprenticeship Week in the UK

Our apprentices are at the heart of what we do at Airbus and will be the next generation of world-leading engineers, machinists, mechanics, data scientists and more. National Apprenticeship Week 2024 has seen every one of our sites in the UK celebrate their contributions to our business, our success and our culture; every week going forward will be apprentices’ week!

Apprentice operating on aircraft

Apprenticeship in the United Kingdom

Applications are now open