Introducing our new Gatwick Airport Apprentices
Published: 27 September 2021
Each year a new cohort of budding Engineers join Gatwick Airport’s Apprenticeship scheme. For the first time, this group of Apprentices features an equal split between males and females, highlighting the industry’s commitment to promoting equality.
The Apprentices will begin their training Full-time at East Surrey College, developing practical skills in our workshops and building their knowledge of the relevant theory. From the second year, they will combine their time with a placement at the Airport, putting their learning into action and completing their Level 3 BTEC qualification. Their final two years will be spent at the Airport continuing to learn their practical skills.
We spoke to our four new Apprentices, Harry, Abi, Finlay and Zoe to see how they are finding the Apprenticeship experience so far.
Clockwise from top right: Finlay, Zoe, Abi, Harry
Why did you choose the Apprenticeship route?
Abi: “I didn’t want to spend 2 years in a classroom! I wanted hands-on experience and knew that I loved learning in a practical way.”
Finlay: “I’ve never liked learning from a book and the Gatwick Apprenticeship really stood out for me – there was a really wide variety of things to learn.”
Harry: “Getting paid to learn really appealed to me and it’s a more professional environment.”
Zoe: “I didn’t want to go to university as that was more written work; an Apprenticeship was more suited to me as I like to learn in action. Additionally, progression is what keeps society changing – having women in these kinds of roles helps society to develop.”
What are you enjoying most about the Apprenticeship so far?
Abi: “So far I’ve really enjoyed the Electrical Installation lessons – we’ve been putting together circuits. There’s a good balance of practical and theory – the theory helps us to understand the practical as well.”
Finlay: “We’ve also tried out coding, digital drawing and even been able to use the Augmented Reality Welding simulators – we’re doing such a variety here, it’s not just one set course.”
Harry: “It’s so much more independent than school and I’m looking forward to applying my knowledge and actually getting down to servicing equipment.”
How are you finding the facilities at ESC?
Abi: “I’d never seen some of this equipment before so it’s great to try out new things, particularly as we’ll be using equipment like this at Gatwick”
Finlay: “The facilities are great; this is definitely a high-end College. We’ve been into every workshop and there hasn’t been a part of this course I haven’t loved.”
Zoe: “The equipment is amazing – I wasn’t expecting it to be this good. There are workshops for every element of Engineering.”
How about the teaching and support?
Abi: “The teaching is amazing – all my lecturers are great. Everyone is really good at explaining our topics as there is a mix of experience within the class.”
Finlay: “We have a different tutor for each unit and they all make it fun in their own way. They take the time to explain the theory as well.”
Harry: “The teaching is really good - they treat you like an adult and it’s a more relaxed environment”
Zoe: "They explain everything and help us out when we need it. As a woman in Engineering, they ensure we never feel out of place”
Would you recommend the Apprenticeship option and why?
Abi: “Yes – 100%! If you know what you want to do, it’s a great way to gain experience.”
Harry: “Definitely! It’s so professional in the way it’s all set up and is a great way to meet new people.”
Finlay: “100% - if you have an industry in mind, an Apprenticeship is the best way to do it.”
Zoe: “Absolutely - if you want to actually get a grasp of the type of career you want to go into. An Apprenticeship helps you to feel more grown up and you learn more than at uni.”
Is an Apprenticeship for you? Find out more here.