Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Apprentices hone engineering skills on Thales aircraft simulators
Article Type: University news From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 80, Issue 4
Apprentices at Thales UK’s training and simulation site in Crawley, where they design, develop and manufacture flight simulators for civil and military fixed-wing aircraft showcased their engineering skills during National Apprenticeship Week (NAW).
Thales employs a team of 20 apprentices at the site, who are trained in a wide variety of engineering skills including hydraulics, electronics, the design and testing of aircraft simulators, and business skills such as communications and managing meetings. While they learn practical skills on the job, they also attend Central Sussex College to learn the theory behind their work.
NAW, run by the Learning and Skills Council, aims to highlight the variety of businesses who take on apprentices, such as Thales UK, to give them work-based learning experience. Throughout the week local businesses that employ and train apprentices demonstrated their skills in a series of practical challenges.
Myra Woods, Training Programme co-ordinator for Thales, explains why the company values its apprentices: “Apprentices are key to our organisation and they are an excellent way of preparing and developing people to become part of our workforce. Apprentices have the opportunity to learn and enhance their skills, and to gain a nationally recognised qualification, while also earning a wage. We have been running apprenticeships for many years through the business in the UK; in fact many of our managers started their careers as apprentices.”