Skills Minister visits Bombardier apprentices at London Biggin Hill
Bombardier has introduced its comprehensive, new apprenticeship program at its London Biggin Hill Service Centre with its first cohort of maintenance apprentices becoming immersed in the aircraft maintenance training program.
Sixteen men and women make up the 36-month program’s first apprentice cohort, which kicked off in March. The combination of virtual classroom and onsite training provides apprentices with an agile, in-depth learning environment to achieve their critical EASA part 66 modules (B Licence) Certification as well as a Level 4 City & Guilds Diploma in Aerospace and Aviation.
The London Biggin Hill Service Centre apprenticeship program is a collaboration between Bombardier and Seetec, an experienced provider of training and apprenticeships. It is supported by KLM UK Engineering Ltd and the Department for Education. Upon completion of the program, graduates have an opportunity to earn full-time positions as maintenance technicians at the London Biggin Hill Service Centre, establishing an invaluable infusion of talented, skilled technicians at the facility. The program is one more example of how Bombardier is working closely with various communities worldwide to establish a strong pipeline of aerospace talent.
“Indispensable apprenticeship programs provide qualified students with an important pathway to an exciting aerospace career - a powerful gateway to exciting, new opportunities. It’s an honour to provide future generations of aircraft technicians with essential training for the next steps in their aircraft maintenance careers,” said Jean-Christophe Gallagher, Executive Vice President, Services and Support, and Corporate Strategy, Bombardier. “Our world-class London Biggin Hill facility offers these students the best on-the-job training possible in a technologically advanced workplace environment - with the possibility for full-time employment at the facility upon graduation.”
Gillian Keegan, Skills and Apprenticeships Minister at the Department for Education (right), met apprentices at Bombardier's London Biggin Hill Service Centre.
“Apprenticeships play a vital role in helping to rebuild our economy by enhancing workforces, boosting skills and developing talent for the future, as we focus on our recovery from the pandemic and continue to build back better,” said Gillian Keegan, Skills and Apprenticeships Minister at the Department for Education. “It is great to see Bombardier’s continued investment in apprenticeships and its their commitment to giving people the chance to train and launch fantastic careers. Bombardier’s innovative new program presents a brilliant opportunity for first-class training and superb future job prospects. I wish all of those involved the best of luck for their journeys ahead.”
Bombardier has worked closely with Seetec, an employee-owned business group based in the UK and Ireland, to develop its apprenticeship program. Seetec Outsource is a business division within the group that provides apprenticeships, adult education and wider skills opportunities. It achieves this by providing essential training and support to learners, so that they are armed with the skills to further their career ambitions.
“Seetec is delighted to be working with Bombardier with the support of KLM UK Engineering Ltd to move forward with this new aircraft maintenance apprenticeship program," said Neil Bates, Managing Director of Seetec Outsource. "By focusing on a skills-led recovery that develops talented apprentices to become part of the aviation industry’s skilled workforce of the future, more progress can be made to help the sector rebound after navigating a challenging operating environment during the pandemic. The Skills Minister’s visit to Biggin Hill also draws an important focus on the aviation industry’s recovery and the need to invest in science, technology, engineering and maths skills to boost the country’s competitiveness in a post-COVID world.”
KLM UK Engineering team is also playing an important role, providing the “B” Licence certificate training portion of the program via an online learning environment. “KLM UK Engineering Ltd is delighted to be able to support Bombardier and Seetec apprentices in studying to gain their B licence certification, via our online virtual learning environment (VLE) and instructor led sessions,” said Chris Tubby, Sales Manager Technical Training KLM UK Engineering Ltd.
“Our VLE allows the apprentices to study anytime, anywhere, while benefiting from the experience of our qualified instructors. We currently support over 1,000 students around the world who are studying on our VLE, with exam centres in Malaysia, Dubai and China to help support them to start their engineering career. KLM UK Engineering, part of the Air France industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance network, has a 40-year history of developing apprentices for its own heavy maintenance facility in Norwich maintaining Embraer 170/190 and Boeing 737 family aircrafts and is proud to continue to support the next generation of engineers entering the aviation sector.”
Established in 2017, Bombardier’s London Biggin Hill service centre is an invaluable support facility strategically located in London that offers heavy maintenance capabilities on Learjet, Challenger and Global aircraft. The site is fully equipped to perform scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, modifications and avionics installations, as well as paint repair services.
Currently in the midst of a significant expansion to be completed by 2022 adding enhanced maintenance capabilities to service up to 25 aircraft - including the industry flagship Global 7500 aircraft - the enhancement of the facility and its maintenance capabilities is a testament to Bombardier’s unwavering commitment to providing customers with worldwide industry-leading services and the OEM expertise they rightfully demand and deserve. The influx of skilled workers this apprenticeship program will provide will ensure the site is well positioned for growth in the next several years.
BlueSky Business Aviation News | 20th May 2021 | Issue #606