Leonardo: creating a welcoming and supportive environment to ensure everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential
After achieving excellent results at A Level, Jainna chose to embark on a project management degree apprenticeship at our Basildon site, instead of going to university full-time.
Taking the first steps into a Leonardo career
“My teachers wanted me to go to university, but I knew I wanted to take the first steps into a career. As soon as I was offered the job, I jumped in the car with my parents and drove to Basildon to check out the route I would be taking to work! I remember thinking: ‘This is the start of my new life, the start of my career and this is the start of what I expected for myself.’
“I have always liked being challenged and proactive, and I knew this would be the case if I chose to become an apprentice. I like learning from field experts at Leonardo, whilst applying the Project Management theory knowledge from my degree to my day-to-day work. I also get to move around business departments so I get a holistic view of the Company and I can understand the contribution that each department makes.”
Being recognised for achievements
“At Leonardo, we are always encouraged to develop and challenge ourselves. This has allowed me, for example, to join a team that won the Institution of Mechanical Engineering’s (IMechE) Apprentice Automation Challenge for developing a sustainable solution to reduce plastic waste.
“Last year, I was awarded Highly Commended Apprentice of the Year at the Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards, which recognises multicultural apprentices, employers, and learning providers. This year, I am delighted to have been shortlisted for the Judges’ Choice category, and I’m looking forward to the final in October.”
“Part of this recognition was based on the active role that I play in Leonardo’s Ethnicity Inclusion network group, of which I am the Communications Lead and Secretary. As part of the group, I have organised events such as a celebration of South Asian Heritage Month across Leonardo’s UK sites, and joined panels with industry stakeholders in order to collaborate on inclusion and diversity in the workplace. One of my first pieces of work for the network group was an article and webinar for National Inclusion Week 2022 focused on the value of names and the consequences of name discrimination. This is something I feel strongly about, and it was great to have the opportunity to share my thoughts and help some of my colleagues who may have experienced similar micro-aggressions. That was just one example of the power of our network groups, and it’s a reason why I am so proud to be involved.”
“This has also led to external recognition such as being interviewed by Amazing Apprenticeships for Green Careers Week as well as the BBC for National Apprenticeship Week 2023, where I was able to share my apprenticeship journey with the hope of inspiring future apprentices.”
Helping others to fulfil their potential
“Giving back is really important to me, so within my role, I am a STEM ambassador which gives me the opportunity to work with schools and students that are interested in joining the engineering industry. For instance, I have been a project manager for the Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society’s Fresh Air Fresh Thinking project. This project saw Leonardo apprentices support eager primary and secondary school students using a Raspberry Pi to study the effects of pollution in everyday life.
“Beyond my apprenticeship scheme, I pride myself in creating equal opportunities in my local community. For example, I organise and attend careers events and school workshops to raise awareness about apprenticeships, as well as being a Not Going to Uni Ambassador. Recently, I have collaborated with Future Leaders Programme to support disadvantaged young people, where I host a session about apprenticeships and have implemented an apprentice mentoring scheme providing aspiring apprentices with the opportunity to receive guidance and support from current apprentices.”
“At Leonardo, there is an array of opportunities for employees to make get involved with. This varies from being a STEM ambassador, to company benefits and the employee-led networks. I am really enjoying my time as an apprentice – it was definitely one of the best decisions I have made!”