I was one of two apprentices to join Atkins’ first aerospace apprentice scheme in 2013. I wanted to do an apprenticeship because I wanted a good mix in my life – to work in industry and gain an academic qualification at the same time. I also knew it would help me get into industry quicker, and what better industry to get into in Bristol than aerospace. Atkins is a big, local company that offers a lot of opportunities so it was a good first choice. Now I know what it’s really like to work in industry, and I get paid while going to college – brilliant!
Here’s one day in my life as an apprentice to give you an idea of what it’s like to be an aerospace apprentice.
8:00am Get into work, say good morning to everyone, turn on my computer, and immediately get a cup of tea. After I’m caffeinated, I check for any emails that need attention from the evening before, review my previous day’s design work and have a catch-up with the stress engineers that I have been working with on the A350XWB project for Airbus. The stress engineers require a set of 3D design models for analysis, so I spend some time downloading and preparing them for use.
10:00am Time for another cup of tea! I send one of the 3D models to the stress team so they can test it - if it’s what they need I download the rest; if not we have a review and decide how the format of the model should be changed.
12:00pm Gather people up for lunch time. If it’s nice weather find somewhere nice to sit by the lakes, if not then in the Atkins canteen.
13:00pm Continue with my design task and have constant contact with the stress engineers to ensure the job is being carried out correctly. In the 3D modelling software I can see the entire aircraft. Most engineers only get to see and work on one piece of the aircraft, and I get to see the full plane – so cool!
15:00pm Once the task is complete I wait for confirmation that the models are okay and their work is complete. Then we have a quick team meeting and decide what the next step is. Each person is told what is required of them by the project manager and then it’s up to the team to communicate and get the job done.
18:00pm Head off home for an evening meal, and often events with friends from school or work colleagues. Then it all starts again the next day – unless it’s one of my days at college!