Heathrow UTC Students celebrate gaining top engineering apprenticeships

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 when they will commence their apprenticeships with prestigious companies such as Airbus and the world’s leading manufacturer of ejection seats, Martin Baker. After studying engineering and technical disciplines at Heathrow UTC, students were in a strong position to apply for apprenticeships and this has been reflected in the excellent opportunities that they have secured.

Apprenticeships are growing in popularity thanks to the clear 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 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). They will complete their studies this summer and start apprenticeships in September after receiving unconditional offers from their future employers.

Sanjay will use the skills he learned studying for a BTEC in Engineering as he undertakes a sponsored degree apprenticeship with aviation industry giant 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 will discover Airbus from different perspectives as he will rotate around all departments and he says that this is a dream come true:

“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.”

James Hamilton, who has studied for a Level 3 Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, secured a place on the sought-after Martin Baker apprenticeship programme where he will work at the company’s Denham headquarters. James decided to apply after representatives from the company did an assembly at the college and impressed him with the care that 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 teamworking skills. He was delighted to be successful and is looking forward to starting his job in September.

Principal of Heathrow UTC, Wayne Edwards, explains 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 the 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.

“I’d like to offer our congratulations to all our students who have secured apprenticeships this year and wish them every success in their future careers.”

Over the last 3 years, a quarter of Year 13 UTC leavers went on to start apprenticeships and last year 37% of those apprenticeships were at a higher or degree level.  This is more than six times the national average.