Aerospace is one of the fastest-growing industries in the UK, offering some very exciting opportunities from space start-ups to expanding government and university programmes.

Aerospace engineers spend their time concocting designs for a variety of things that seem to magically soar across the sky. Anything from planes and rocketships to satellites and space probes. With such a booming industry, you would expect that there would be lots of opportunities for apprentice training, as well as degree apprenticeships.

But where is the best place to break into the industry?

The UK loves Aerospace.

Luckily for us, the UK is at the very forefront of the aerospace industry, due in part to our rich history of defence and aviation engineering, as well as advances made by both university and private-led space technology and science organisations.

Aerospace engineers have the chance to impact almost every part of our lives, from how we communicate globally to how we navigate our cars. However, because there are such disparate ways into the industry, it can be hard to know where to look.

Aerospace apprenticeships in the UK.

Airbus apprenticeships

As I write this, Airbus is the second-largest aerospace and defence company in the world. Headquartered in Bristol, UK, they work on loads of awesome projects across aviation and aerospace.

Airbus offers a number of apprenticeship opportunities every year, across its business, digital, procurement, and aviation/defence functions. Their 2020 recruitment drive opened at the start of November and has applications open until the beginning of March. (so now is the time to apply).

Of the many opportunities on offer, their engineering degree apprenticeship (available in both Filton and Broughton) offers a fantastic pathway into an aerospace organisation, earning a degree as you study and learn about the industry from the inside.

For intermediate or entry-level apprenticeships, there is also a Craft Manufacturing Aero Apprenticeship, letting you get hands-on with the manufacture and optimisation of aerospace parts and products.

Boeing Apprenticeships

We mentioned that Airbus is the second-largest company in the industry, and that is because Boeing is the first.

Boeing offers apprenticeship roles across their aircraft maintenance, fabrication, flight services, and HR functions.

An American company, they operate all over the world, serving customers in approximately 150 countries.

BAE Systems Apprenticeships

BAE Systems is another huge British defence, security, and aerospace company. BAE has a strong apprenticeship record and intakes a large number of apprenticeships every year.

BAE’s apprenticeship development scheme is recognised as one of the best in the country.

They have 25 apprenticeships on offer, many related to the aerospace industry. They have apprenticeships at every level, from intermediate (entry-level), and advanced, to full-blown degree sponsored apprenticeships.

Leonardo Apprenticeships

Leonardo is an Italian multinational company specialising in aerospace, defence and security.

Recipient of a gold level accreditation for their investment in young people, they recognise that young people are the lifeblood of the organisation.

Leonardo apprenticeships follow two pathways: the Electronics, Defense and Security, (EDS) route or the Aviation route. These programmes are extensive and service over 100 trainees every year.

Check out their early careers quiz to see what pathway might best suit you.

Qinetiq Apprenticeships

Qinetiq is a British multinational defence technology company who run their own “apprentice training school”.

Based at MOD Boscombe Down near Salisbury in Wiltshire, the QinetiQ Apprentice Training School (QATS) provides a brilliant way to start your career in engineering.

Each course combines the development of technical expertise with functional training that prepares you for working life – and gives you the opportunity to further develop your non-technical skills. 

Babcock Apprenticeships

Babcock has a huge apprentice intake. Their business is split into four parts, these are aviation, land, marine, and nuclear.

For aerospace careers, the best sectors to explore are aviation and marine.

Babcock’s apprentice intakes vary with the business, so the best thing to do is to register for job alerts for the jobs and sectors you are interested in.

Thales Apprenticeships

Thales Group is a French multinational company that provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets.

Thales’ apprenticeship window for 2020 is currently open, accepting apprenticeship vacancies for over 50 different roles.

Thales apprenticeships offer on-the-job learning backed up with a dedicated mentor. They boast a variety of work where no two projects or clients are the same.

For a career in the aerospace industry, we would recommend you check out the Engineering and Technology apprentices.

RAF Apprenticeships

If you’re interested in a career in the RAF, there are a number of ways to advance your engineering education, with various apprenticeship opportunities that can lead to a future career in aviation and aerospace.

Try the Aircraft Technician (Avionics), and Aircraft Technician (Mechanical) positions to see the possibilities on show.

Landing in Aerospace

Now that you know where to look, your next job is to find the perfect aerospace opportunity for you, as well as getting your application just right.

For more ways into the industry, why not check out our engineering page.


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