The first apprentice we are showcasing for National Apprenticeship Week 2022 is Mia Pitman, a Hardware Engineering Apprentice, Thales.

What made you want to pursue a career in the sector and an apprenticeship?

I have always been a creative person with a passion for fixing, building, and designing things.

I undertook a GCSE in Engineering which fuelled my passion for Engineering even more. I was eager to start my career and began my apprenticeship as a school leaver, I am a very practical person so to be able to learn whilst working on a job was very convenient for me.

What is your day-to-day role like, has it changed much due to the pandemic?

On most days I will be working on a different part of a project which means no two days are ever the same. Currently, I am working hard to become a design and drafts person, and this means a lot of my day-to-day activities include using the tool CAD (Computer Aided Design) where I help create and design products to engineering standards.

Have you worked on any interesting projects / programs during your apprenticeship?

I am very lucky that I have so far found all my work interesting and have been able to experience a wide range of jobs. The coolest part of my job is being able to work with the most advanced technology in our labs and I also represent the company as a STEM ambassador. Being a STEM ambassador has allowed me to go on many trips across the UK to showcase Thales’ apprenticeship scheme. My favourite ambassador experience was travelling to the Science Museum in London and speaking to 11–16-year-olds about their future careers.

What has been the best thing about your apprenticeship, has anything surprised you?

The best thing to surprise me about my apprenticeship is discovering how friendly the working environment is. As a school leaver at 16, joining a large company was a very daunting experience but with Thales I settled in incredibly quickly and my colleagues view me as a respected colleague and are there to support me if I ever need a helping hand.

Another thing that I value about my Apprenticeship was the opportunities that would open up to me, such as travelling around the UK, getting to work with the most advanced equipment and meeting so many new people. Another benefit is that as well as a qualification I will also gain invaluable experience in the engineering field.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to people looking to make a first step in their career?

In my opinion an apprenticeship is the best way to gain experience to start your career, another perk is you are also being paid to learn! You gain invaluable workplace experience, a qualification and have access to many opportunities. Beginning an apprenticeship for the stepping stone of my career is one of the best choices I have ever made and I could not recommend them enough.

What is your advice to someone who would like to join an apprenticeship scheme?

My advice is to keep your options open about the role you would like to undertake and to think about what doors it can open for you in the future. Make sure you look at multiple companies and try and get your name out there as much as you can.

If you make it to an interview session make sure you are prepared as possible! Study some background information on the company and prepare yourself for a wide range of questions or even practical based assessments .

But most of all, when deciding what to do with your career, don’t stress too much. It is important you are always enjoying your work and the steps you take to reach your goals. You will always find the correct path for you, and it is okay if you aren’t quite sure what you would like to do yet.

For more information on apprenticeships with Thales, visit: