A group of Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) Engineering apprentices have undertaken a unique training experience at RNAS Yeovilton’s Fleet Air Arm Museum before presenting the results to an audience of VIPs from top employers EDF and Magnox.
Run since 2020, the scheme is a collaboration between BTC, EDF UK, Magnox and the Fleet Air Arm Museum. More than 20 Maintenance Operations Engineering Technician (MOET) apprentices completed week-long training projects at the Museum as part of their course’s Condition Monitoring Maintenance unit.
Fleet Air Arm Museum staff challenged the apprentices with scenarios such as a major incident, combat situation, decommissioning and recommissioning, as well as taking an out of service aircraft from the museum and uncovering what maintenance was needed to put it back in working order. From this, the apprentices were able to draw parallels between key skills needed in the aviation industry and their own nuclear-specific roles.
The projects culminated in a series of presentations about the apprentices’ experiences, delivered to an audience of 20 VIPs from their employers – Magnox and EDF – as well as National College for Nuclear and BTC staff.
George Avery (25), who is an apprentice with EDF, said: “The experience at RNAS Yeovilton was brilliant. We were given a number of challenging scenarios involving the Sea King helicopter and had to work effectively in groups in order to solve them.
“It allowed us to reflect on our own industry and draw some interesting comparisons with the aviation industry. There was also a definite sense of accomplishment when all the groups had finished the presentations to our managers!”
Hollie Wilson (21), who is completing her apprenticeship with Magnox. said: “Yeovilton was an experience I found invaluable to my studies. It has helped me gain knowledge and skills I would never have achieved in a classroom environment and which I can transfer to my working life.
“The visitors and training providers were some of the best in the industry and never failed to help us all with any questions or interests we had in the aircraft. Condition monitoring is a massive part of my work onsite, and now I feel I can confidently undertake tasks I never even knew existed before.”
EDF UK NSA Early Careers Manager, Dominic Blythe, said: “We are so proud of our year two MOET apprentices, who displayed maturity, confidence and professionalism at this special event. The content and delivery of the presentations were fantastic with all the apprentices marking important similarities between the aviation and nuclear industry. The discussions on personal accountability, maintenance standards and safety were exactly what we want for our future talent and people pipelines.”
NCfN Lecturer, Steve Trott, added: “This project is the result of a direct link between BTC, EDF UK, Magnox and the Fleet Air Arm Museum and we hope it continues to run year on year. The project first ran in February 2020 and was immensely popular.
“We’re so pleased to be able to work collaboratively with the staff at RNAS Yeovilton to give the apprentices an experience that helps them expand their knowledge, build confidence and showcase their communication skills in front of VIP guests. Feedback from all the attendees is excellent. We’re very glad that it has been a great success.”
BTC provides over 150 different apprenticeship courses at sites across the country, including degree-level Apprenticeships. For more information about these and other courses, please visit www.btc.ac.uk or call 01247 441234.