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Leonardo Apprenticeships: Inspiring Future Leaders

Published on: 1 Mar 2020

Each year, Leonardo seeks to attract enthusiastic people to join one of their highly regarded apprenticeships programmes. Leonardo is a large employer of engineering, business and cyber apprentices, with over 400 graduates and apprentices training at different facilities across the UK.

Sophie Article

Entrants to the programme, typically aged 16-19 on joining, undertake an intensive training programme lasting two, three or four years, depending upon the scheme, which results in their graduating with a substantial depth of skills in the area in which they have specialised. The programmes consist of both academic “off-the-job” and structured “on-the-job” learning, which led to the programme receiving an ‘Outstanding’ rating by OFSTED.

The success rates of the Leonardo Apprentice Training programme are very high – with over 90% of apprentices successfully completing the programme. Many of the company’s senior leaders began their careers as apprentices and a significant number of apprentices go on to undertake degrees and achieve graduate status.

Leonardo is committed to maintaining its skilled workforce, and recognises the need to expand the UK's diverse pool of engineering resources by supporting initiatives such as the ‘5% Club’, which aims to increase the number of apprentices and graduates in the UK.

Leonardo operates a worldwide education programme aimed at encouraging young people throughout their academic careers to take an interest in science and technology. The company has strategic partnerships with colleges and universities throughout the UK to develop engineering research capabilities and improve students’ and teachers’ understanding of engineering careers.

Recently, Leonardo received recognition for its outstanding work with Apprentices, earning a Top 5 spot within the “Rate My Apprenticeship” Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers 2017-2018 listings.

Sophie Caffrey started her apprenticeship with Leonardo in 2015; predominantly working in Hardware Engineering, Sophie designed and developed schematics and printed circuit boards (PCBs). In 2016, Sophie developed a test interface board for BriteCloud; working with Lead and Design Engineers to support the fulfilment of their customer requirements. Her design has now been used in trials across the globe.

“My weeks vary significantly but that’s what makes my apprenticeship scheme great, I am always confronted with new challenges and opportunities.” She said. “Within my placement in Applied Research, some weeks I participate in flight trials, some weeks I am analysing data, and some weeks I am working with new groups of people. But I am always thinking of how to solve the problems presented to me.  I also have quite a large involvement in the STEM/ Outreach side of the business, so I help out with activities like our RI Masterclass series and Rampaging Chariots events.”

 “Since working at Leonardo, I have been inspired to pursue further education and have recently started studying Electronic Engineering (BEng) part time at the University of Bedfordshire. I hope to complete my degree and settle in a final placement that I love.”

Due to her contribution to the engineering and her work as a STEM ambassador, Sophie was one of last year’s finalists in the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year taking part in the Institution’s Portrait of an Engineer campaign. In February she was awarded the FDM Everywomen Award for Apprentice of the Year.

“Applying for the technical apprenticeship scheme at Leonardo was honestly one of the best things I’ve ever done. Having never really considered a career in engineering, I can’t believe how much I enjoy my work. Leonardo offers so many amazing opportunities to their apprentices, and as long as you show your commitment, they will help you reach the stars.”

You can find out more about Leonardo apprenticeships and check out some of the current vacancies on E&T Jobs here.