Two Babcock apprentices from its UK Military Air’s Apprenticeship Programme at RAF Valley, Dewi Thomas and Kieran Williams, were honoured at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s 2018/2019 Apprenticeship Award Ceremony at Bangor University at the end of last year.
Due to the exceedingly high standard of the engineering candidates, chosen from among over 130 students on the engineering apprentice framework programme, the college managers were unable to choose a single winner and opted instead for a joint award. Two of the four nominees were pronounced winners, with Dewi was one of the two selected to take home the ‘outstanding candidate’ award. The candidates’ commitment to the programme was praised by the guest speaker, Babcock’s Paul Oliver, General Manager, Hawk (Advanced Jet Training and Integrated Operational Support) and Adour contracts.
Babcock had 11 apprentices graduate last year from the two year programme at RAF Valley. In partnership with the local college group (Grŵp Llandrillo Menai), the RAF Valley Apprenticeship Programme offers around 10 students each year the opportunity to undergo training in a variety of departments. Apprentices attend college one day per week, undertaking the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering, and work on site for the rest of the week.
In addition to undertaking a NVQ Level 3 Aeronautical Engineering qualification on site, apprentices at RAF Valley have the opportunity to get involved in a variety of training exercises throughout the programme. These include a T2 Aircraft Handler course, Trade Principles courses and multiple compliance courses such as Human Factors and trade control.
All 11 apprentices who graduated in September 2018 were offered permanent positions with Babcock at RAF Valley, and there are high expectations for the 20 individuals in the two further cohorts currently on the Apprenticeship Programme. The recruitment process is already underway to recruit a fourth cohort to commence at RAF Valley in September 2019.