The UK Space sector, growing at 7% per year, is at the cutting edge of exploring the universe and connecting people to the world around them. The sector, which generated £11bn-worth of turnover and £4bn in exports, directly employs 34,000 people and 1,000 apprentices.
As National Apprenticeship Week draws to a close today, ADS speaks to Ella, an Airbus Defence & Space apprentice, to learn more about the exciting apprenticeship opportunities in the Space sector.
Title of Apprenticeship: 6 months post-apprentice
Why did you choose to become an apprentice?
I was coming up to the end of my A-levels and school was pushing me to go to uni. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go, as the prices were tripling for my year. I was also enjoying my part time job so much as a bike mechanic and wasn’t sure I would enjoy full time education as much.
I wanted to work but still gain some high level qualifications, so I went a careers day and Airbus was there. The person on the stall was so enthusiastic about this company that I looked up the apprenticeship. I applied both for uni and the apprenticeship, got both and chose to become an apprentice because the idea of working whilst learning really appealed to me.
Also, because Airbus is an international company, I will get the opportunity to work overseas in the future, which will be a great experience.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Airbus Defence and Space?
That no two days are the same. I never have a boring routine day. Airbus pushes me to use the knowledge I have learned and apply in different situations each time.
What is the most exciting project you have worked on during your apprenticeship?
During my apprenticeship we had an apprentice project, to build a Mars rover with a different concept. Now I am actually getting to work on the real Mars rover which is exciting, developed from a prototype which was shown at Winchester World Space Week, to now be helping to develop materials on the Mars rover and also to monitor contamination.
What advice would you give to others considering an apprenticeship?
To not let people’s stereotype of apprenticeships dishearten you. There is a lot of bad press around doing an apprenticeship and organisations can make you feel like uni is your only option. It’s not, and if I had not picked the apprenticeship route I very much doubt I would be working for Airbus now.