In celebration of National Work Experience month British Airways has opened its hangar doors to give 200 students a glimpse into the complex world of aircraft engineering.
During two open evening events at the airline’s engineering base at Heathrow, young people aged 14 to 18 were taken on a tour of the largest airline engineering base in the UK and were given a peak into the specialist workshops and the opportunity to talk to some of the airlines 4,700 engineers.
17-year-old Amelia Pilot, a student from West London, took part in the experience and said her next step will be applying for work experience with British Airways’ Engineering Team.
“I have always been fascinated by planes and I love fixing things, so it was amazing to talk to female engineers about what it’s like to do the job. They explained that I could become an apprentice with British Airways and get all my qualifications at the same time as working on aircraft every day, like the Airbus A350 and the Boeing Dreamliner, which is my absolute favourite plane.”
Mel Kose, British Airways’ Community Education Manager said that events like this aim to encourage young people, especially girls, to see that a future in engineering is attainable, and a rewarding and exciting career choice:
“I’m delighted that so many students attended our engineering open evenings, which complement our Your Flying Future events and are just one of the many initiatives we offer to inspire young people to pursue a career in aviation and STEM. This year we’ve hosted more young people on work experience than ever before with 600 students completing a week-long placement across 25 departments – including Engineering and Flight Operations, as well as at British Airways’ Head Office.
“We’re constantly investing in new and innovative ways to engage with young people, like introducing ‘Teacher Take Off Days’. Hundreds of teachers from across the UK have now taken part in these one-day work experience sessions, equipping them with a unique insight into the world of flying and an understanding of the vast career opportunities on offer, which they can share with their students back in the classroom. Back in March, to celebrate International Women’s Day, we invited 100 young women to experience our flight simulators to inspire them to become commercial pilots.”
Work experience is just one of many routes into the airline for young people who are ready to start their career in aviation. As well as its award-winning apprenticeship programme, graduate scheme and business placement programme, British Airways has now become the first and only UK airline to offer summer internships, giving current university students invaluable experience within the fast-paced aviation industry.