A cohort of engineering fitter level 3 apprentices will engage in a comprehensive three-year programme.
The arrival of the new apprentices coincides with Britten-Norman opening its new production line at its Bembridge site last month. This exciting news means that the apprentices will be part of the manufacturing process for the new aircraft – which is being built in the UK for the first time since 1968.
What’s involved in the new apprenticeship with Britten-Norman?
The apprentices will be directly involved in the production of various components, from machinery and sheet metal to flight controls and the paint shop, which will provide them with a holistic understanding of the different facets of aircraft engineering. This exposure will help them identify their areas of interest within the aerospace industry, setting the stage for fulfilling careers.
Collaborating with the Centre of Excellence for Composites, Advanced Manufacturing, and Marine (CECAMM) on the Isle of Wight, these apprentices will receive weekly sessions to enhance their practical skills and immerse themselves in real-world aerospace engineering challenges.
Continuing Isle of Wight’s legacy as an aircraft manufacturing hub
Pete Dowers, new build manager at Britten-Norman, spoke about the significance of this apprenticeship scheme: “I believe it’s important to pass my knowledge to the next generation and help them develop their own skills. In fact, I was fortunate to have been an apprentice at Britten-Norman myself, starting back in September 1978. My apprenticeship shaped my career where I now manage our new aircraft builds on the production line at our Bembridge site.”
Isaac Turner, curriculum manager –digital and innovation at CECAMM, expressed excitement about this collaboration, stating, “We are looking forward to supporting the upcoming generation of engineering fitters through an apprenticeship scheme being run here at CECAMM.”
Britten-Norman is the sole commercial aircraft manufacturer in the UK. Pete Dowers said, “It’s important to have this apprenticeship scheme to make sure we have people with the right skills working in the business and can continue to build new aircraft on the Isle of Wight for many years to come.”
Plans are already in motion to expand the apprenticeship program, with hopes for a larger cohort of engineering apprentices in the coming year.