Heathrow UTC students take off with apprenticeships

Engineering students will join leading employers to earn while they learn as they start their professional careers

Students at Heathrow UTC are looking forward to September. That’s when they will commence their apprenticeships with prestigious companies such as Airbus and manufacturer of ejection seats, Martin Baker. 

Apprenticeships are growing in popularity, thanks to the benefits they offer both businesses and young people. The latest employers’ survey run by the Department for Education shows a large majority (84%) of employers reported that offering an apprenticeship programme had helped them to “develop skills that are relevant to the needs of their organisation”. This type of training is also very popular with young students; combining learning and working allows them to gain industry experience and, once the apprenticeship has finished, they have a world of options open to them. 

Two of the successful Heathrow UTC students are Sanjay Hirani and James Hamilton (both Year 13, pictured at the top of the page). They will complete their studies this summer and start apprenticeships in September after receiving unconditional offers from their future employers. 

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Sanjay will use the skills he learned studying for a BTEC in Engineering as he undertakes a sponsored degree apprenticeship with Airbus at Swansea University. Sanjay will complete a three year degree in aeronautical engineering, spending four days per week at Airbus and one day a week at university. 

Sanjay said: “I applied for Airbus because Aeronautical Engineering is my passion. It was the first place I applied to, so I’m delighted to have been successful.” 

“We work closely with our partners in industry, who give students support in everything from CV writing to mock interviews and in-depth information about working in the engineering sector.”

James Hamilton, who has studied for a Level 3 Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, secured a place on the Martin Baker apprenticeship programme, where he will work at the company’s Denham headquarters. He decided to apply after representatives from the company did an assembly at the college and impressed him with the care it had for its apprentices and employees. The competition for places was tough, with a rigorous online test followed by a challenging two-day assessment centre that tested James’ engineering and teamwork skills. 

Principal of Heathrow UTC, Wayne Edwards, explained how the college helps students prepare to apply for apprenticeships: “We work closely with our partners in industry, who give students support in everything from CV writing to mock interviews and in-depth information about working in the engineering sector. This means that students have an immediate advantage when they start the application process. We make sure that students are kept up to date with all the apprenticeship opportunities so that they have the widest choice of routes to follow.

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