Dreams soar as top aviation firm plans apprentices day in Norwich

Norfolk’s ambitious young career-seekers are being offered dream apprenticeships by a subsidiary of one of the world’s biggest airlines.


KLM UK Engineering is holding its annual Apprentices Day next weekend to kick off the process of recruiting a new batch of trainee mechanics to fill places on its flagship four-year training programme.


More than 100 eager young people have already booked to visit the Norwich Airport-based KLM UK Engineering hangars on Saturday 29 March – and there is still room for more to register.


KLM UK Engineering Managing Director Arjan Meijer, said: “Our Advanced Level 3 Aeronautical Engineering Apprenticeship remains an extremely important future source of recruitment for our company. The industry still has a major projected shortage of aircraft engineers so this scheme is very important to us.” 


Norwich North MP Chloe Smith will be attending, along with the government’s Paymaster General Francis Maude, who is also Minister for the Cabinet and MP for Horsham.


Recruits must be up for a challenge. Four years of theory work and hand-skills learning lay ahead of them, before they graduate to working on aircraft components, including engines and airframes, in hangars and engineering departments.


Last year’s recruitment drive resulted in a record intake of 13 new apprentices, including 16-year-olds who left school with GCSEs and 18-year-olds with A levels.  Others had been to college or university – or were disenchanted by the jobs they held down before being handed a life-changing offer of a soaraway career.


One of the most recent apprentices taken on is 17-year-old Charlie Sutton from Dereham, who is thrilled to have landed himself such a prestigious earn-while-you-learn role, straight from high school. He commented: “It’s one of those careers you talk about but never expect to get the opportunity to take up.”


Dreams soar as aviation firm plans apprentices day


Another, Ben Pattrick from Bradwell, commented: “It is fantastic to know you have been taken on by a big company with a big reputation,” he said. “I am buzzing; it gives me a fantastic reason to get up in the morning.”


KLM UK Engineering has a successful track record in apprenticeship programmes. Ten percent of its 400-strong workforce began as apprentices. Several ex-apprentices are now in management positions with the company, some of whom have racked up more than 25 years’ service.


The apprenticeship programme was restarted in 2007 after a 10-year break. To date, every apprentice who has graduated from the course has been offered a permanent position within the company.


This year’s apprentices day will be on Saturday 29 March with sessions running from 9am to 10.30am and 11am to 12.30pm. Places must be pre-booked to gain entry.


As well as learning what the job of being an aircraft mechanic entails, there will be an opportunity to speak with past and present apprentices.


To book a place, simply visit www.klmukengineering.com and click on the link http://klmukengineering.comeze.com/


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