What did you study at school?
I studied at St. David’s High School in Dalkeith until my 6th year in 2010. During my time there, I gained 7 higher grades in Maths, English, Product Design, Business Management, Art & Design, Photography and Music. I studied Physics and Craft & Design at Standard Grade level, which have already been beneficial to my apprenticeship.
Why did you think an apprenticeship was the right path for your career development?
When I left high school, I was undecided about which career path I would be best suited to. I spent a few years working full-time whilst looking into different options available to me, such as university or college. I had considered these, but was always put off by having to give up a full-time wage. I wanted to find a career where I could gain further education, whilst staying in a working environment. An apprenticeship gives me the best of both worlds, allowing me to continually build upon my knowledge, while giving me the stability of having a full-time job and an interesting career.
What is your current position in Leonardo?
I am a Technical Apprentice at Leonardo. I am currently in the second year of my apprenticeship, working within the Mechanical Engineering department. I've had the opportunity to move around a variety of other areas such as the machine shop, radar testing, Industrial Engineering and Quality Assurance.
What attracted you to Leonardo?
I was attracted to working in Leonardo due to the reputation the company has in producing state-of-the-art products and technology. Leonardo appealed to me as I was looking for a career that would interest and challenge me.
Tell us about a typical week?
A typical week working as an apprentice varies, depending on which department you are located in. I am currently located in Mechanical Engineering. In this department I have been using computer aided design software to created 3D models and 2D technical drawings. I’ve learnt about a variety of aspects that need to be considered when designing a product, such as functionality, material choice and Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T).
Every Tuesday I attend college on day-release with other apprentices from my year group. I’m currently studying towards an HND in Engineering Systems, which I will have completed by the end of my 4-year apprenticeship.
What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy learning something new each and every day. Attending college and gaining knowledge from my colleagues allows me to put theory into practice. I enjoy feeling part of a team and knowing that I am contributing to the workload which each department has.
Best moment/biggest achievement as a Leonardo Apprentice?
I feel my biggest achievement so far as a Leonardo apprentice has been giving a speech to third year pupils at Craigroyston Community High School in Edinburgh. I feel proud that I was able to communicate with these teenagers and expand their understanding of the job opportunities available to them after life at school.
What do you hope to do next?
My career aspirations at the moment are to successfully complete my apprenticeship and gain my SVQ level 3, along with my HND in Engineering Systems. Throughout my apprenticeship, I aim to gain as much knowledge as possible from colleagues and learn from their vast and varied skill-sets. After my apprenticeship, I aim to secure a job that will enable me to use the knowledge I have gained, so that I can continually improve and build upon my skill-set.
Why should aspiring engineers consider an apprenticeship at Leonardo?
Leonardo has a brilliant reputation and is a great company to work for. The apprenticeship programme provides you with an opportunity to gain further education at college whilst earning a full time wage.