When did you join Leonardo?
I joined Leonardo Helicopters in 2001 as a Mechanical Technician Apprentice in the Transmissions Centre of Excellence (TCE) after studying maths, English, science, design technology, geography and German at school. Before starting my apprenticeship, I went to Yeovil College to study for a GNVQ and A-level, and then a one-year full-time engineering course.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship appealed to me as it gave me the best of both worlds between getting my qualifications (ONC and HNC) and on-the-job training. It was a perfect to gain experience in many departments around the business and learn the academic side of mechanical engineering.
Living in Yeovil, Leonardo is a well know business that I have grown up with, since many of my family members work on site. As a result, I have always been fascinated by their products and the company offered so many opportunities and career choices.
What did your apprenticeship involve?
Due to the nature of Leonardo’s Modern Apprenticeship programme, I was able to experience all aspects of the TCE business, covering elements such as Gearbox Build and Strip, Testing, Procurement and Continuous Improvement. This wide range of experience provided me with a greater knowledge of what is involved in pulling together every element of a gearbox build from its infancy to its delivery and everything in between. It also gave me a great opportunity to build relationships with people across the business.
What did you enjoy most about the apprenticeship?
What I enjoyed most about the apprenticeship was the opportunity to learn about the various aspects of the business and gain invaluable knowledge and experience from the shop floor personnel.
What is your role in the company now and what does it involve?
Today I am a Production Manager for the UK MOD AW159 Build Line. This involves me overseeing the day-to-day running of the AW159 RAD line and the AW159 development and trials aircraft across the final assembly line and flight line with the Aircraft Management team. My responsibilities include health and safety, managing customer contacts, costs, deliveries and schedules, managing the labour and capacity, implementing change and process improvements, and working with many departments around the business to pull together the programmes and aircraft deliveries.
How did your apprenticeship prepare you for a full-time career at Leonardo?
My apprenticeship helped me understand the many varied job roles and their input into the final product, and gave me the confidence to talk to many levels of personnel and management.
What do enjoy most about your job?
Seeing the end product delivered to the customer and being involved in new product development. Additionally, I enjoy having involvement with many departments around the business and working together to make the end product.
What have been your biggest achievements at Leonardo so far?
During my apprenticeship, my greatest achievements were being nominated for the Managing Director’s Cup and Technicians’ Cup in the final year. Since then, I’ve very proud to have become an Aircraft Manger and now a Production Manager for the UK MoD AW159.
Why should someone consider an apprenticeship at Leonardo?
Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to learn from skilled professionals within and around the business. They provide hands-on learning and understanding of the product at every stage of build/manufacture process.
What piece of advice would you offer an apprentice today?
Enjoy it and work closely with the skilled personnel around site to gain as much experience and knowledge as possible.