13-Sep-2022 Source: Bristow
Bristow gave a warm welcome to ten new apprentices this summer – one of the largest groups to join the business in more than two decades.
The new arrivals, who were carefully selected from more than 350 applicants, came to Aberdeen headquarters to get their apprenticeships underway with a week-long behind the scenes look at the Oil and Gas and Search and Rescue (SAR) operations.
A busy introduction saw them meet Bristow engineers – including many ex-apprentices – learn about the business, spend time on a SAR base and get their first look at the Aberdeen operations.
But the packed visit was just the tip of the iceberg as the ten embark on a demanding two-year program which, if successful, will see them gain the Part-66 A3 license. This allows them to carry out certain tasks on an aircraft, such as changing a battery or a cockpit light and it can set them well on the road towards possible Category B1 or B2 licenses, which allow team members to carry out more complex tasks, ranging from gearbox maintenance to working on electrical systems or airframes.
Training Manager Paul Richardson said: “In our industry it’s critical we keep a keen eye on the future. The various training program we’ve run over the last 20 years have been vital to developing the talented teams we need, so it’s great to see such a large group of enthusiastic apprentices join us this year.
“Our apprenticeships have become a tried and tested way of developing the best engineers in the industry. It’s a rigorous and demanding course, but we think it is second to none in ensuring engineers of the future have what it takes to keep aircraft operating to the highest standards of safety and quality.”
More than 100 men and women have embarked on the Bristow program since the first formal apprenticeships were launched in 2002. Today more than 80 of them remain with the business. As Richardson says: “Without apprenticeships we wouldn’t have many of our senior and trusted colleagues. In many ways it is better suited for us than a university qualification – the process has proved its value time and again.”
Chief Engineer Cameron Beattie, who started his own career with an apprenticeship, was part of the team who welcomed the new intake. Giving them their first close-up look at an S-92, he said: “I completed an apprenticeship more than 40 years ago. It was a great way to start my career so it’s always a pleasure to introduce new apprentices to our operations. They really are the future of aviation engineering and I’m looking forward to them becoming a part of our team.”