Foundation Apprentice Summer Placement - Kieran's story

August 15, 2019 - Jane Moore

It’s that time of year again, when the Engineering Foundation Apprentices have finished year 1 of their course, and start their summer placement.

The placement involves two weeks working at a local engineering company, where they get the opportunity to experience the different types of jobs and routes available in their chosen industry.

We caught up with one of the Foundation Apprentices who selected Collins Aerospace (a part of United Technologies Corporation) for their summer placement.

Kieran Nicolson

Kyle Academy

I am really interested in everything aircraft related. It’s something I am always involved with, whether it’s Cadets or flying lessons. In the future I want to join the Royal Navy and become a Pilot. It’s a hard thing to get into, so I see my Foundation Apprenticeship as a safety net, in that I could apply for a Modern Apprenticeship if I need to. The Foundation Apprenticeship gives me a wider range of qualifications and experience, and will improve my chances of getting a good job.

I have enjoyed the course and find it really interesting. The practical work is particularly good, some of the theory can be a bit boring but most of it is not too bad. Sometimes I get so into the practical that I forget the time.

The work placement has been great so far. When I first heard that we had to do a two week work placement, I thought it would all be shadowing someone but not here, it’s the opposite. I feel a lot of trust from Collins Aerospace as they let me complete tasks, while being closely supervised, the same as the staff that work there. It’s so much different from what I expected.

During the first week I was working on thrust reversers, where I helped with riveting and bolting components. I helped fit the engine mounts and helped put together the links for the engine mounts as well. I also got to do some of the paper work, which meant I got to see the full process. This week I have been working on inlets, so taking off parts and cleaning them. Currently I am working in composites which has been great.

I am looking forward to year 2 of the Foundation Apprenticeship. When I leave school I plan to do my HNC Aeronautical Engineering. Then I plan to apply to be a Royal Navy Pilot. If I am not successful, I will go back and do my HND and consider other branches of the Royal Navy.  As well as look at doing Aeronautical Engineering at Collins Aerospace. It’s a great company with brilliant facilities.


Robert Paterson, Training Business Partner from Collins Aerospace commented "At Collins Aerospace we appreciate that we have an extremely important role to play in the wider community.  Initiatives and programmes, such as Foundation Apprenticeships, are an excellent and very worthwhile way of helping to develop the young workforce and also to help shape our future labour market.

"The two Foundation Apprentices we hosted this year spent time in a number of our busy shopfloor areas.  This really helped them to recognise that the skills and knowledge they gained during their time at college have a very real application to the world of work.  All of the people that they spent time with commented on their ability and the confidence they brought to the site."

Are you interested in a Foundation Apprenticeship? Find out more about the courses here.

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