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Air Engineers hone their skills ahead of National Apprenticeship event

17 November 2016
Top air engineering apprentices from across the aviation industry took part in a training camp at HMS Sultan recently ahead of the National Finals of the WorldSkills UK Competition.

Mechanical and Avionics candidates practiced multiple test scenarios which they could encounter in the competition at The SkillsShow, the largest skills and careers event in the country, at the NEC Birmingham on 17-19 November.

Borescope orientation, riveting and physical inspections of helicopters were just some of the areas covered by the group during the visit to the Defence College ofTechnical training’s Royal Naval Air Engineering & Survival Equipment School.

Robert Barrett, 25, a third year apprentice currently working in wing construction for Airbus, was among the Mechancal competitors taking part to promote the industry. Having previously worked in retail, Robert decided to make the move in to a career where his passion for aviation could be fuelled.

He said: “It’s an amazing experience to be here, as a civilian you don’t get many opportunities to be within a military environment.”

It’s an amazing experience to be here, as a civilian you don’t get many opportunities to be within a military environment

Robert Barrett, a third year apprentice currently working in wing construction for Airbus

“I’ve always had an interest in aircraft and was an air cadet growing up. Unfortunately due to medical reasons I was exempt from joining the military and so I looked for the best alternative and arrived at Airbus.”

“Some of the companies that are here today don’t do all of the tasks that we’re going to be assessed on at WorldSkills and so today gives us an opportunity to look at some of the them and have an idea as to how they might be run.

"We also get to meet other apprentices and hear about what they do within their own industries. We all work on aircraft and there is some common ground but what we do can vary as some are involved in maintenance and others and involved with their manufacture.”

The engineering apprentices taking part have already come through multiple selection events with three Royal Navy Air Engineering Technicians(AETs) making it through to the final eight in the final.

For the Winner of the Mechanical classification there is even a chance to win a chance to represent the UK in the international WorldSkills, Abu Dhabi 2017.

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