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Why choose an apprenticeship?

Taking a vocational route i.e. an apprenticeship, suits those who do not wish to pursue an academic career pathway and are either a more hands-on role or looking to achieve your qualifications in a workplace environment. You can work while you learn, and earn while you learn! You can opt to obtain advanced-level qualifications, with many trainees going on to completing degrees as they progress through their career and an increasing number of Level 6 and Level 7 (degree/postgraduate) apprenticeships are now available following the introduction of new Apprenticeship Standards. What’s more, apprentices often have their tuition fees paid for by their employer, and with the costs of university study ever increasing, apprenticeships look like an even more appealing option, if you don’t want the student loan debt.

Taking a vocational route to gaining qualifications can hold exciting prospects, apprentices with ambition to enter senior roles within the firm usually find their are few barriers if they have the right skills. In fact many company directors in our sector started life on the shop floor.


We interviewed apprentices and companies who hire them during National Apprenticeship Week.

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Information Packs

We have developed two information packs to help you get started in your aerospace and aviation careers:

Careers and Employability Pack

Entry Routes in Aerospace and Aviation Pack



Selecting your GCSE’s?


CLICK HERE to take a look at our insight blog for more information and advice on the best subjects to consider.

16+ Choices

The document available to download below from the Education & Skills Funding Agency  brings together the choices for people over 16 years of age. It describes each programme and includes:

  • Employer costs
  • Incentives
  • Training
  • Duration
  • Eligibility
  • Progression route
  • Links to additional information

16+/18+ choice overview

What are the requirements?

Many apprenticeship programmes are often aimed at 16-24 year-olds and resident in the UK. However, some companies also run Adult Apprenticeship schemes with no age limits, often recruiting candidates from transferable jobs such as the automative industry.

The qualifications you can gain through an apprenticeship are NVQs levels 2 and 3 or a BTEC or City and Guilds qualification, right up to a Bachelors Degree. An apprenticeship can last between 12 to 24 months, but it can vary from employer to employer (it is advisable to check this first with individual employers). Most apprenticeships offer time off each week to study at college and companies often have in-house training labs as well as working with colleges equipped with the latest technology.


Manufacturing or Maintenance or Pilot?

In aerospace, apprenticeships are offered either by aircraft component manufacturers, such as BAE Systems, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Messier-Dowty, Goodrich or by aircraft maintenance providers, which could be an airline such as British Airways or Virgin Atlantic or a specialist aircraft maintenance company e.g. ATC Lasham or Hawker Pacific.

In manufacturing, you will learn how to build the highly complex parts and systems that make up the aircraft components. In maintenance, you wil learn how to inspect, repair and maintain aircraft parts and systems often to Licensed Engineer standards.

For aspiring pilots, a new apprenticeship standard for commercial airline pilots is being developed by a specialist sub-group of the Aviation Industry Skills Board, which will be chaired by TUI UK & Ireland, managed by People 1st, and is set to increase opportunities in the aviation industry.

The commercial airline pilot standard, approved for development by the Department for Education, is also supported by other leading aviation employers, including, EasyJet, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and FlyBe, and has the backing of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), the Honourable Company of Air Pilots and the Civil Aviation Authority.

What levels are there?

Apprenticeships are available at various levels with each leading to a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ).

Intermediate Apprenticeships
These courses lead to a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 2, a certificate in Functional Skills (maths, English and ICT) and, in some cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification (e.g. BTEC). An NVQ Level 2 is equivalent to 5 GCSEs (9-4).

Advanced Apprenticeships
These courses lead to an NVQ Level 3, a certificate in Functional Skills (maths, English and ICT) and, in some cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification (e.g. BTEC). An NVQ Level 3 is equivalent to two A Levels.

Higher Apprenticeships

These courses lead to an NVQ Level 4 and, in some cases, a relevant Higher National Certificate, Higher National Diploma or Foundation Degree. The HND and Foundation Degree are equivalent to the first two years of a degree programme.

Degree apprenticeships
These courses lead to a level 6/7 qualification such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

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What do I need to do?

To find out about apprenticeship opportunities you can contact companies directly and find out whether they are taking on any apprentices or have any future opportunities coming up. Sometimes it can be hard knowing where to start, but knowing what area of the industry is the first step.

Take a look in the Careers Directory and Careers Resources (downloads and listing) sections for information on the companies that may have Apprenticeships in the UK.

Alternatively you can contact your local Connexions service to find out whether they hold a list of local employers that are offering apprenticeships. You can also contact your local FE College and local privately-run vocational training colleges to see if they are also working with employers locally on apprenticeships. Talk also to the National Apprenticeship Service for more information about Apprenticeships and the support you can receive from Government.

The websites below also have useful apprenticeship information:

Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education –

Amazing Apprenticeships –
Engineering and
National Apprenticeship
NotgoingtoUni website

Find an apprenticeship on Talentview Aviation

Talentview Aviation is a launchpad into an amazing career in the aerospace and aviation industry. Find aerospace and aviation apprenticeships and a wide range of early career and first job opportunities.


Visit Talentview Aviation

Join the Royal Aeronautical Society

As the world’s only professional body dedicated to the aerospace community, we exist to further the advancement of aeronautical art, science and engineering around the world.

Established in 1866, the Society has been at the forefront of developments in aerospace, seeking to promote the highest professional standards and provide a central forum for sharing knowledge.

Our free Apprentice Affiliate membership is available to anyone who is currently on a recognised apprenticeship scheme. The Apprentice Affiliate membership is free for all apprentices and includes online access to our magazine, AEROSPACE, as well as our other membership benefits. At the end of the apprenticeship you will automatically be invited to upgrade to e-Associate of the Society.

We also accredit apprenticeship schemes, so if your company is interested in getting you apprenticeship scheme accredited by the society then visit our accreditation pages.

For further information about Apprentice Affiliate then please contact


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