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Hugo G.

Apprentice Aircraft Engineer
Airbus Aerospace
July 2021

When did you first develop an interest in engineering?

Year 10/11 chose engineering - design technology, really enjoyed it, was a physics geek, felt creative. Did it at A-levels. Went to uni and studied engineering. I didn’t feel creative and didn’t get to do what I wanted at uni. It was all writing and drawing. 

I began to look at apprenticeships. I applied for a few. 3 or 4. I got interviews but because I went to university they said they wouldn’t be able to pay for my course because I’d learnt it at uni. 

I decide to drop out of uni in june this year (started in september). Worked at the airport because it tied into aviation.

Someone recommended a baggage job at American Airlines. Really enjoyed it for a year. Found a DHL apprenticeship online. His mum worked there, his dad used to. Applied got on to the assessment centre. Still worked at AA. 24 people out of 700, they were picking 5. Borrowed his dads car for a 2.5 hour drive. 

30 minutes later he got a call saying they’d love to take him on. His mum was sitting next to him. Worked at AA for one more month. Now is based in Luton, relocated, they pay for accommodation for first 10 months which is where he does his basic studies, from there he moves to east midlands airport. 

Does the journey that you went on make this more meaningful?

My parents drilled uni into me. Uni is the only way to get paid. You have to go. 

But I realised there’s better opportunities out there. 

If you want to do engineering as a job, apprenticeships are the best way. They pay for you, you study, you get work experience. 2 year course. He gets a level 2 in aircraft maintenance and a level 3 in aircraft maintenance which you can’t get at university. 

To get a licence to work on planes you need a certificate saying you’ve done a certain amount of hours. At university you can’t be employed and therefore can’t get your licence which you need to earn. 

My parents didn’t really know what an apprenticeship was but she was overjoyed once she understood (we came from poland originally). He’s lived here for 18 years. His parents only know the polish system. 

He started it last time.

What attracted you to Springpod, how was your experience of using it and how did it affect your career direction?

He used Springpod in year 13. My school told us about it. They recommended we use it to improve my personal statement. I thought it sounded interesting because it had free courses. December 2020 when I was writing my personal statement, I did the Airbus VWEX. I was really happy to do it. I got a lot of knowledge from it and it was great to add to my CV. It taught me a lot, I enjoyed it. I remember having to do one or two essays. I could fit it into my own time. Mid term exams. I didn’t want to miss out so I did this alongside revision. I wrote my personal statement and included it. In April I found a general engineering one. The airbus one was particularly good because it was more specific to my ambitions.

What advice you have for young people considering apprenticeships?

I did most of the research. I needed to understand both pathways before making a decision. I really regret not doing an apprenticeship earlier. Engineering is a subject where you just need experience.

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