Michael Lowde

Yeovil   09 September 2020
Degree Apprentice

Meet Michael Lowde. He joined Leonardo in 2015 as a Technical Apprentice, but has since transferred onto the company’s Degree Apprenticeship scheme.

What did you study at school?

I studied Maths, English language/lit, science, art, history, engineering, IT and RE at secondary school, before undertaking a BTEC Level 3 Engineering Extended Diploma at college.

What apprenticeship are you completing?

I joined Leonardo as a Technical Apprentice and completed two years on the scheme, gaining a Level 3 qualification and Level 2 practical qualification, before transferring onto the Degree Apprenticeship.

Why did you think an apprenticeship was the right path for your career development?

With aviation already being an interest of mine, it made sense to try and combine this with my working career. Originally I planned to go to university to study Aeronautical Engineering. However, the high costs and no guarantee of a job where I could apply it swayed me to look into apprenticeships.

Why did you join Leonardo?

My interest in aviation meant I was aware of Leonardo Helicopters, despite living in the North West of England. Taking what was a big life decision to move to the South West has proven to be an excellent choice.

What is your current role at Leonardo?

I am currently in the third year of my Degree Apprenticeship, working towards my HND Qualification and Level 4 NVQ.

Tell us what you do in a typical day / week

During the Degree Apprenticeship I have experienced a wide range of placements such as Rotors Design, The Dynamic Composite Centre, Airframe Systems and AW159 projects. Whilst in these placements I’ve completed CAD design work on our new AW609 Tiltrotor, planned the manufacturing of our composite rotor blades, and then inspected and tested them. I have been involved with the mechanical system integration on the AW101 and devised a test plan that covers the structure, transmission and rotor system of the AW159.

What do enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the variety; I move placements every 3-6 months which allows me to move around the business, build a strong network base, and understand how the company works from various and points of view.

What have been your biggest achievements at Leonardo so far?

I spent two years on the Yeovil site’s apprentice and student association committee, with the second year taking on the Vice-Chair role. During those two years, we raised £75,000 to help rebuild a school in Nepal that was destroyed in an earthquake in 2015.

What related activities are you involved with outside your specific job role?

Being an apprentice at Leonardo has allowed me to get involved in a wide breadth of STEM and charity-based activities such as Imagineering at the Bath & West Show.

The Degree Apprenticeship has helped me develop my self-confidence through public speaking at company-hosted seminars and our Annual Awards Dinner, as well as improving my people skills through networking events. There is plenty of opportunity available and I believe being offered the chance to transfer from the technical scheme to the Degree Apprenticeship is evidence of that.

What are your career aspirations?

Once I’ve completed my apprenticeship, I’m hoping to become a permanent employee, taking on a customer-facing technical role that allows for some travel.

Why should someone consider an apprenticeship at Leonardo?

Getting sponsored through an HNC, HND and BEng, as well as gaining critical industry experience and personal development, debt free, whilst getting paid for it all, is a bit of a no-brainer!

Apprenticeships at Leonardo

Apprenticeships at Leonardo

Our highly-regarded apprenticeship programmes – covering hardware and software engineering, business and cyber security – offer intensive training programme lasting 2-4 years, which results in apprentices graduating with a substantial depth of skills in their specialist area.