Sam Kirkpatrick

Edinburgh  25 February 2021
Industrial Engineer

Meet Sam Kirkpatrick, an Industrial Engineer who completed a Modern apprenticeship with Leonardo last year.

What is your current role at Leonardo?

I am currently an Industrial Engineer in the Advanced Targeting team, focussing on, and contributing to, the LINAPS Artillery Pointing System projects.  I am the manufacturing approver for all change requests across the various software platforms used in the business.

What apprenticeship did you complete?

In August 2020, I completed a four-year Modern Apprenticeship, containing an SVQ level 2, SVQ level 3 and an HNC.

What did you study at school?

At school, I was very keen on hands-on type subjects.  I made the choice to study subjects like Product Design, Technological Studies and Physics. I also studied Maths, English and Business Management. These subjects gave me a good baseline to move into employment.

Why was an apprenticeship the right path for you?

Due to having Dyslexia, I found that I could perform better in more practical subjects. Because of this, I felt I wanted to move into employment rather than full-time further education, and take the opportunity to learn on the job in a hands-on capacity. I still wanted to progress and gain qualifications at the same time as learning on my job, and that’s what an apprenticeship was able to offer me.

Why did you join Leonardo?

I have always had an interest in electronics and the exciting technological advancements that have been made, and will continue to be made, in this industry. I was immediately drawn to the type of work that Leonardo carry out, and I was desperate to become part of that.

Tell us what you do in a typical week

A typical week in the Industrial Engineering group can contain tasks such as data gathering and analysis, drawing reviews, document reviews and generation, equipment maintenance, equipment and tooling procurement, manufacturing planning generation and reviews, and constant interaction with various members of the IPT.

What do enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy the variation in the day-to-day work. Some days I can be working on the shop floor supporting the manufacturing teams, and the next I’m doing a large amount of data analysis. The variation has made my role very enjoyable.

What have been your biggest achievements at Leonardo so far?

My biggest achievement so far is being nominated and finalist for Skills Development Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year award.

Another big achievement was being asked to move into Industrial Engineering as my final placement early. I was delighted that a department I had worked in had recognised my effort and ability and wanted me to stay and work within their group.

What are your career aspirations?

I have set myself short, medium and long-term goals in a personal development plan relating to my career progression and job roles that I see myself filling. I have identified each progression step’s criteria and have recorded that in my PDP so I can see what I need to do to progress.

Why should someone consider an apprenticeship at Leonardo?

An apprenticeship is an excellent career alternative to university or other forms of further education.  The opportunity to get a foot in the door of a multi-national company and begin to learn from some of the best engineers and operations teams is incredible. The opportunity to get paid whilst learning is very beneficial.

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.