Top of the class

Posted on 26 Jan 2011 by The Manufacturer

A wind tunnel engineer from its military aircraft business has been named ‘BAE Systems Apprentice of the Year’ at the company’s UK Apprenticeship Awards.

Twenty-two year old Rachael joined BAE Systems in 2006, and completed her apprenticeship in March 2010 with an additional NVQ unit in Aircraft Electrical Sub-Assemblies. She moved to work in the wind tunnel as an electrical and electronics test engineer, and subsequently spent ten weeks at Cranfield University as the electrical expect working on the Demon, an unmanned air vehicle developed by BAE Systems and ten universities.

The Awards recognise the achievements of BAE Systems apprentices from across the UK, who have excelled both in the workplace and in their academic studies. BAE Systems currently has more than 1,000 engineering and business apprentices in training and will be recruiting a further 291 in 2011, making it one of the largest employers of apprentices in the UK.

As well as winning the ‘Apprentice of the Year’, Rachael was also named ‘Technical Apprentice of the Year’. Receiving the overall award, she said: “I’m shocked but delighted to have won and hope I can act as a role model to other young women and girls who are considering working in engineering. I’ve worked on some fantastic aerospace projects so far and am sure this is the start of a really exciting career for me. ”

Nigel Whitehead, group managing director at BAE Systems, added: “The BAE Systems Apprenticeship Awards recognise the very best of our apprentices. Our 1000 apprentices are crucial in ensuring BAE Systems maintains a pipeline of talent to sustain our position as a leading UK engineering and manufacturing company. Many of BAE Systems’ senior managers started as apprentices, and as an ex-apprentice myself, I’d thoroughly recommend the training programme as a career option.