Collins Aerospace develops future workforce

Posted on 8 February, 2022 by Advance 

As part of Apprenticeship Week - Monday 7th to Friday 11th February - Collins Aerospace in Kilkeel have launched their 'Transform their future with an apprenticeship' initiative.

Image courtesy Collins Aerospace

Apprentices are an integral part to any manufacturing business in Northern Ireland, that’s according to Stuart McKee, Managing Director of the Kilkeel based aircraft seating manufacturer, Collins Aerospace as the company reinforces its commitment to developing the workforce of tomorrow with its range of apprenticeships.
With the theme of this year’s Apprenticeship Week, which runs from Monday 7th to Friday 11th February, 'Transform their future with an apprenticeship', Stuart believes that Collins Aerospace in Kilkeel has done just that, as over 90% of their apprentices in the last five years are still with the company and have successfully progressed their careers and indeed transformed their future.
Speaking about the apprenticeships within the company, Stuart said: “Apprentices are an integral part of our success in Kilkeel. They help support our vision to grow and it’s an opportunity for us to develop local talent to assist in upcoming new product developments.
“Over 90% of apprentices have secured permanent roles as Manufacturing Engineers since the scheme started in 2017, which highlights and underpins its success. As a company, Collins Aerospace is passionate about developing the next generation of engineers and has a keen focus on our apprenticeship schemes and other programmes including STEM related activities, which are an essential part of the company’s ethos.”
As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of innovative seating solutions for commercial and business jets, employing 750 people and manufacturing seats for many global airlines including British Airways, American Airlines, Qatar and Lufthansa, Collins Aerospace in Kilkeel has been an employer of choice for students in recent years.
Available opportunities include entry level apprenticeships across a range of disciplines including engineering, facilities and maintenance, electrical engineering and operational excellence, as well as a Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) in Mechatronics under the Trainee Engineer Job role, in partnership with Southern Regional College.
These apprenticeships provide an entry route into engineering for students and help develop talent in STEM related areas.
Caolán McGuinness previously completed a Higher Level Apprenticeship in Mechatronic Engineering with the company and speaking about his experience he said: “My HLA allowed me to gain excellent experience in the forefront of digital technologies, and industry 4.0 initiatives. I have been involved in a range of projects during my time with the company and I’ve gained invaluable knowledge on a wide range of subjects within a niche field. I would encourage anyone who is considering an apprenticeship with Collins Aerospace to do it, as opportunities like this in Kilkeel are not to be missed.”

For more information on the apprenticeship opportunities within Collins Aerospace or to apply, visit Southern Regional College website at