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Rosie - Aeronautical Engineering

Rosie Walker completed her Aeronautical Engineer (Mechanical) apprenticeship in 2021 and it has given her invaluable knowledge and experience of working in an aircraft environment.

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship? 

I chose an apprenticeship because it provided an excellent, hands-on training opportunity at an entry level position. As I was unable to join the armed forces, and living in Cornwall, this apprenticeship meant that I would have the opportunity to gain qualifications in the aviation sector. 

Have you found the apprenticeship relates to your job? 

The apprenticeship involves working in various sections at RNAS Culdrose to support the Royal Navy’s fleet of Merlin helicopters - from naval air squadrons to mechanical workshops.  This apprenticeship offered a level 2 NVQ in performing engineering operations and a level 3 NVQ in aeronautical engineering. Both have acted as a training/revision aid to my job. While getting the hand-on experience at work, the qualifications have allowed me to further my tech knowledge of the industry I work in. 

What are your career plans following this apprenticeship?  

I will spend time as a fitter’s mate for Serco at Culdrose. As a fitter’s mate, I will be given a task book to complete before becoming a fitter and undertaking a return to service scheme for Serco. If the opportunity arises, I would like to gain my aircraft licenses. 

Has there been a stand out project or experience you were involved in during your apprenticeship?  

During my apprenticeship, there has been two stand out projects. For International Women in Engineering Day, I went to Truro High-School for Girls and spent the day teaching the theory of flight for planes and helicopters. I got them to make paper helicopters and aeroplanes and held a competition to see who would have the best flight for each category. I also made it to the national finals of the WorldSkills UK Aeronautical engineering (Mechanical) competition. 

Tell us about your experience in the World Skills competition 

For eight months, I was training and competing in the various levels of the WorldSkills competition in aeronautical engineering. I made it to the national competition against seven other apprentices across the UK aviation industry. The national competition consisted of six individual tasks, each pertaining to different areas of aircraft maintenance. 

The best part of the WorldSkills competition was the confidence it gave me in my skills. Having come from a small college and apprenticeship - in comparison to other competitors - it proved to myself that I am more than capable and that I shouldn’t doubt my abilities as much as I do.