INTRODUCING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENGINEER

INTRODUCING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENGINEER: APPRENTICES’ Q&A  

In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week 2021apprentices George Feeney [aged 20] and Luke McMurtry [aged 19], tell us more about their experience so far and what their apprenticeship means to them 

How did you hear about the 2EE apprenticeship scheme?  

GeorgeI heard about the scheme through work experience that I undertook at 2Excel Engineering back in October of 2017. 

Luke: I was at Monarch Aircraft Engineering when the company went into administration and came across 2Excel when I was researching other MROs. I also have family that work at 2Excel. 

Why are you interested in aviation engineering? 

GeorgeMy interest comes from my Grandfather who worked at Lasham for just under 40 years. 

Luke: I love a challenge and having the responsibility of getting a hard task and figuring out all the possible ways to complete it. 

What was the most interesting task you have undertaken during your apprenticeship? 

GeorgeI would say completing Avionics Modifications on 2Excel Aviation’s Boeing 727 oil spill response aircraft. It was both challenging and fun to do. Working on B727’s at Lasham has massively helped my development as a mechanic and has also helped me appreciate the systems within older aircraft. 

Luke: Structure work interests me but one of the more interesting tasks I completed was removing the fan blades off a Boeing 757 and restructuring the acoustic drum surrounding the fan blades. I did a lot of research through the AMM, AIPC and SRM to figure out all the tolerances and found out some great facts about the balance and method of manufacture of the blades and engine components. 

Have you enjoyed your time at 2Excel Engineering? If so, why? 

George: Yes, I have developed many skills and have made good friends here and I look forward to coming into work each week. 

LukeYes, I have. I have only been at 2Excel for a year, but I have been put on a range of tasks. Some are complex and time-consuming and some a lot easier but there is always work to do. Building strong relationships with the technicians and mechanics have made my time here much more enjoyable. If you remain interested and communicate clear to all colleagues, then the trust between one another stays consistent. 

What have been your main highlights during your time at 2EE? 

George: My highlight would have to be the people that I have got the chance to work with as well as the opportunity to work on aircraft and complete jobs that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. 

LukeAt the start of my time here, our colleagues and mentors would allow us to experience the fire crew procedure where you prepare for the arrival of an aircraft. You get a safe but close-up encounter of the landing, whereas at other companies, you don’t always have this privilege. Ive also been trusted to do intricate tasks and that personal responsibility is a highlight for me. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? 

George: In five years’ time, I aim to progress my career specifically by working towards my B2 licence. 

Luke: I see myself with a full B1 technician licence and on a few aircraft types leading a team of mechanics and apprentices alongside other technicians. I’m a natural leader and have a passion for aviation which means I will excel and push myself. I love diving into the unknown and that happens daily within aviation. Having the technician responsibility is a very trustworthy role and dedication will help me be the best leader I can beIn the future, I hope to have a significant role within 2Excel and work my way up. 

Who is your biggest inspiration? Who do you look up to? 

George: My biggest inspiration is my grandfather, growing up with his stories of his time at Lasham truly inspired me and helped me make the decision to follow a career in aviation. 

Luke: I look up to my parents as no matter how hard times got, they always seemed to stay calm and content, never crumbling under pressure. Becoming a technician shows all those qualities and traits that I have adopted and adapted to suit my role within aviation. I have the upmost respect for my parents and will pass that on to my peers.

Spotlight On… Wendy Ingram, Customer Account Manager

Wendy Ingram – 2Excel’s Customer Account Manager

Customer Accounts Manager Wendy Ingram is part of 2Excel’s Commercial Team, a department dedicated to customer care. We delve into the life of an account manager and what the role involves. 

Wendy’s ambition to work in aviation was inspired from a young ageshe enjoyed STEM subjects at school, and spent her earlier years as an Air Cadet and Engineering Apprentice Here’s how Wendy made her journey to 2Excel Engineering  

Wendy, tell us how you got into the industry? 
At school I enjoyed science and technology subjects (STEM) and my main hobby was as an Air Cadet, and so it was a natural progression for me to become an aircraft engineer. My school held a WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) course when I was able to hear from a range of established female engineers. I decided to join my local Further Education College on a BTEC course for Electrical Engineering after leaving school and I was lucky enough to be offered an Apprenticeship with British Airways at Heathrow in its April 1990 cohort. 

Some of the most memorable highlights during my apprenticeship were being part of a team changing an engine on Concorde, enjoying a placement within the Flight Simulator department and meeting Neil Kinnock during his election campaign – I was the Chair of the Apprentice Association at the timeMy final placement was in the B747 casualty hangar on permanent nights (tech 6), which was interesting and provided varied work in getting the aircraft ready to fly the next day.  

After completing my apprenticeship, and an HNC in Aeronautical Engineering, I had a range of roles with British Airways Engineering and British Airways. I was part of the initial Business Process re-engineering team, before moving on to being part of the Engineering communications team. I then worked to create internal processes for an engineering customer airline before becoming a maintenance planner. My final role with British Airways was in their Operations Centre (Compass Centre) as a short haul operations planner. I left British Airways in 1997 to move to Cologne as my partner moved there for work. 

I worked as an English teacher for Berlitz in Germanymoving back to the UK at the end of 1999. At this point in life, I was a mother to three children, all under three years old and life was very busy. I worked in various customer service roles at evenings and weekends while they were little. While my children were in school, I worked as a teaching assistant in a high school, gaining a BA(Hons) in Learning and Teaching 

After leaving the education sector, I joined Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) as a Prototype Build Engineer (electrical) on their Degree level Apprenticeship. I gained a Foundation Degree (FdEng) in Automotive Engineering from Coventry University. I left JLR hoping to reboot my aviation career but it wasn’t so easy; I was unable to rejoin as an Engineer because, although I have the qualifications as a time-served apprentice my skills were out of date. I was unable to find a training course to allow me to get my recency back for my aviation engineering skills because I already have level three qualifications and was unable to get an engineering role without the experienceIf I had initially trained as a teacher or a nurse then it would have been easier to find a ‘return to teaching’ or a ‘return to nursing’ course, as these professions traditionally expect people to take time out to have a family. I hope that, with the numbers of females entering engineering careers, this changes in the future. 

I was lucky enough to find the customer role with Monarch Aircraft Engineering in Birmingham, joining them in July 2017. The role combined my ‘people skills’ and my engineering background. 

I then joined 2Excel in March 2019 when Monarch went into administration. I really enjoy my role but miss hands-on engineering. I don’t have many regrets but would love to go back and stay ‘on the tools’ for long enough to have gained my licences. 

My three boys are looking to follow me into aviation, one of whom is an apprentice working with me at 2Excel. I have one son looking to join the RAF and the other has a placement on the Rolls Royce Aerospace Engineering Degree Apprenticeship in Bristol. I’m very proud of them. 

How did you hear about 2Exel?  
I met Phil Whitehead, my line manager, at one of the careers fairs organised to help Monarch staff to find new positions, this was in 2019. After visiting the Lasham site and meeting its people, I was lucky enough to be offered the role of Customer Accounts Manager.  

Describe an ‘average’ day or week 
On a day-to-day basis, I will make sure that all the data on the aircraft check is up to date from a commercial point of view. We hold a daily production meeting and I issue the notes internally and externally, attaching the materials report and the updated project plan. 

I produce a weekly report to the customer to show any additional charges incurred, then give any additional information to the customer that they need to able to authorise the charges, issuing the invoices for the additional charges. 

More widely I deal with every commercial aspect of the checks, from agreeing the initial contract, agreeing costs for individual aircraft maintenance checks through to agreeing additional charges for work added to the check, which we will sometimes look to do for a fixed price, or will otherwise give an estimate of the time that it will take. I produce contact briefs so that everyone working on the check within 2Excel understands which items are included in the fixed price, if there are any materials included in the fixed price and if there is any defect rectification included.  

Customer satisfaction and care are my top priority; and I like to ensure my customers are happy and comfortable at Lasham. 

What do you enjoy most about your role? 
I enjoy the variety. I deal with most people and departments within the company and am the interface with the customer. I really enjoy building, and maintaining, good relationships with our customers. From-time-to-time, I may need to have frank conversations with them, so having a mutually respectable relationship is key. 

I really enjoy working in an aviation environment and particularly like working at Lasham, there is a great team spirit here. 

You’re featured within the company’s new corporate video. What does this mean to you? 
I hope that it promotes the company and the excellent services that we offer. I also hope that it shows the variety of careers on offer within aviation and could maybe inspire people to consider an aviation role (or engineering more generally) as a career, it would be good to inspire younger females to consider STEM careers while they are in school and so can make the choice to study STEM subjects in post-16 education.   

 

Spotlight On… Mike Nash, Composites Shop Supervisor

Mike Nash – 2Excel’s Composites Shop Supervisor

Composites is another essential back shop used every day in an MRO. If engineers on the hangar floor find any issues with components that they are working with, the composites team will support with repairing or restructuring the material, which saves time and money for the customer.  

Mike Nash, 2Excel’s Composites Shop Supervisor, tells us about his day-to-day role and the importance of this back shop in 2Excel’s core operations. 

What is the process of the Composites Back Shop? 

If the guys in the hangar discover that there are faults with composite components, we have various composites, such as metalonmetal, fiberglass and carbon fibre structures which I repair. 

The composites back shop use multiple materials to make a whole new material. The team will use cloth, metal or resin and combine them to make something new. New materials need to be made so that the aircraft stay as current as possible. Strong, new materials reduce the stress of parts. 

It is my job to fix any faults with those materials. Jobs are never the same and it differs with every aircraft which is what I like about the job. Even if it’s the same part of an aircraft, the two repairs will be different. Usually, I get a part and I won’t know how to deal with it until I start the process, so I like the challenge. 

What do you enjoy about your job? 

I’ve done my job for so long and I don’t know anything else, but I enjoy it. My favourite aspect is working out how to do the repair. As I said, the basics are the same, but every repair is different. For example, I can cut a panel open and it could be filled with water and I would have to figure out a way to solve that issue. 

2Excel Engineering apprentices offered employment

PRESS RELEASE

Lasham Airfield, Hampshire2Excel Engineering is investing in the future of the UK’s vital aviation and aerospace industry by offering its final-year graduates ongoing employment, giving them the opportunity to continue their careers with the business 

The Alton-based Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) engineering company, which is part of aviation group, 2Excel, welcomed the apprentices in 2017 when the scheme was launched. With support from Fareham College, a total of 17 apprentices are going through the training scheme, with four apprentices graduating this week 

Employment at the end of the Apprenticeship Scheme was not guaranteed, but Cameron Aldridge, Callum Jeffery, Bradley Hamilton and Max Wood are graduating with offers of an ‘Improver Aircraft Mechanic’ role, giving them the opportunity to remain employed by 2Excel Engineering and apply for Aircraft Mechanic vacancies when these become available.     

2Excel Engineering’s CEO, Chris Norton OBE DFC, said: ‘‘It’s with great pleasure that 2Excel Engineering (2EE) has been able to offer employment contracts to all of our Year 3 apprenticesAll four of them have worked very hard during their training over the past three years and, even as apprentices, they’ve had a hugely positive impact on our business.   

‘‘With 2EE’s six aircraft bays and numerous specialist back shops, we’ve been able to give them very varied, hands-on, practical experience. They’ve had insight into all aspects of aircraft engineering, from small commuter class aircraft to a wide range of narrow body airliner repairs such as avionics installation and interiors refurbishment as well as the supporting departments of a busy MRO.” 

‘‘The 2EE Apprenticeship Scheme is crucial to the to the long-term resilience of the Company and we’re pleased to announce we’re able to continue with it, despite having to deal with such a turbulent year across the entire aviation industry. We have a particularly talented team here at Lasham and, I believe it’s incredibly important to practically support the STEM subjects for our youth. On behalf the whole 2EE family, I wish our graduates the best of luck in their careers with us.  They all have a bright future ahead of them.’’ 

Callum Jeffery was presented with an additional accolade by members of the 2Excel Leadership Team, winning the ‘Lasham Blade’ Trophy, for his above-and-beyond commitment to his apprenticeship and to supporting the Company.

Apprentice, Callum Jeffery, said: ‘‘I’ve always enjoyed learning about engineering and how things work and with my passion for aviation, I knew that aircraft maintenance was the career path for me. 

I’ve undertaken lots of different tasks during my apprenticeship but I particularly liked structural repairs. These tasks are so varied and unique, which has helped me gain a better understanding of aircraft structures. In time, I’d like to progress to lead mechanic within the company and look to gain my B1 licence. 

‘‘I have really enjoyed my time at 2Excel Engineering. I have worked with a great team of people who have supported me through my apprenticeship. 2Excel Engineering has dedicated a lot of time and commitment to me to help me gain valuable skills, knowledge, and confidence to become an Aircraft Engineer.’’  

 

Building on a respected legacy of 60 years, 2Excel Engineering acquired the MRO business out of administration in late 2015. With a rich heritage to build on, 2Excel Engineering has gone from strength-to-strength growing by 500% in 5 years. The year after the acquisition, the team looked to Fareham College to support the running of a new apprenticeship scheme, which will continue to run, with further apprentices due to graduate in autumn 2021 and autumn 2022.  

Louise Holland of Fareham College said: “Fareham College’s Business Plus Team is delighted to continue to work with 2Excel. Delivering training to this group of apprentices has been an honour. The apprentices have attended CEMAST and worked with our Professional Coaches in their workplace to achieve their full Apprenticeship programme. During lockdown, successful remote delivery ensured achievement and that their Graduation was possible. With the next two groups underway, we look forward to celebrating future Graduations.” 

 

New Airbus Training Course introduced at 2Excel Engineering

2Excel Engineering’s Airbus A320 training course commenced in August and is the first Airbus course for the company. 2EE Licensed Technician, Nick Jeffery, shares his experience on the course so far… 

‘I’ve been at 2Excel Engineering for 18 months and I’m enjoying my time working for the company. I do have quite a lot of Airbus experience from my previous jobs working on larger aircraft for Virgin Atlantic and Airtanker. And, I currently have a B1 licence on the Boeing 737 NG. 

‘As an engineer, the requirement is to do a different Type Course for each individual aircraft that we service. For example, the B737 Classic is a separate type course to the NG. The B727, B757 and A320 are all completely separate courses. So, it’ll be great to have this qualification; I’m keen to continue my professional learning and training and this course is supporting me in doing that.  

‘The course allows you to hold a B1 or B2 type rating depending on the licence you hold and we have to sit through both sides (mechanical and electrical). But, we can only sign off work if we hold that specific licence. The course itself is based on an A320 aircraft type, which covers the B1 and B2 aspects of the aircraft. B1 licensed engineers predominantly deal with the mechanical parts of the aircraft whilst B2 licence is the electrical side. 

‘Last week, we covered all the basic structures and the electrical power generation. At the moment, we are working on flight controls.  We have exams at the end of each week which, for me, is the biggest challenge that the course presents. The course is carried out on site at Lasham during the day and finishes anywhere between 3pm and 4:45pm, which allows the trainees time to review what they have covered and revise it.’ 

‘This particular course would give me the A320 family type-rating on my licence. Therefore, I will be certified for tasks on an A320, which is a great opportunity for me, for the Company and our customers.’

Back Shops Series: Cabin Interiors

The Cabin Interiors department, previously known as Upholstery has had a recent rebranding to better reflect its full capabilities. The new title clarifies the various work that this back shop regularly completes. Cabin Interiors support aircraft maintenance checks by ensuring that the interior work is of the highest possible standard. 

When an aircraft comes in, Cabin Interiors liaise with the relevant Crew Chief to learn what interior work needs to be done. Often, it is the removal of seats or carpets but, jobs differ with every aircraft.

Cabin Interiors Supervisor Dave Lewis tells us more.  

“Our job is to focus on adjusting, fixing or replacing anything on the inside of the aircraft,” he says. 

Carpets, linos, seats, ceiling panels, trays and lavatories are just a handful of features that the back shop works on. Many of the tasks are done off the aircraft in the back shops themselves. Seats and other equipment are usually transferred to the back shop to complete a full service before being loaded back onto the aircraft. These jobs require a detailed visual inspection (DVI), which involves taking a very close look at the intricate structures to ensure that specific defects can be corrected. This can often involve a lot of material!  

‘In carpet binding, there are 5,000m per roll and on average, we use five to six rolls a day’, explains Dave. 

The team need to have a good eye for detail as quality and finish are crucial. Organisation is key as labelling needs to be accurate to ensure pieces are reassembled correctly. 

Dave continues: ‘Cabin Interiors provide a visual aspect of what the customer is paying for. We often get very good reviews on the visual work and we pride ourselves on the presentation. Finish is everything! Recently, a TAG aircraft came in with VIP seats – we had to dismantle them to remove them from the aircraft and dismantle them again to fit them into crates. They were very pleased with our effort, as we treated them with a lot of care as we always do. The satisfaction comes from finishing the job and seeing that the customer is happy.’ 

For a small department, Cabin Interiors contributes a quick and efficient service working around the timeframes of the aircraft work package. 

‘Nothing is impossible. We will always go the extra mile to ensure the customer is accommodated. Although, we are sometimes limited due to paperwork and manuals. If it is legitimate and safe, we will always cater to the customer’s needs,’ Dave adds. 

Celebrating World Photography Day

Today, 19th August, a community of people from across the globe are celebrating World Photo Day with the aim of inspiring positive change across the world.

The 2Excel Group (which includes 2Excel Engineering and 2Excel Aviation) prides itself on driving positive change across its many business divisions, from habitat mapping and oil spill response, to empowering women within the aviation and engineering industry.

Through sharing our own photos, we hope to raise awareness, connect with our own communities and inspire others – and positive change.

These are our highlights:

2Excel Engineering, a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul organisation – the sister company to 2Excel Aviation, is encouraging female engineers and technicians to join the industry:

2Excel Engineering is proud to celebrate the women in their workforce. From engineers like Maria Arnau pictured above, to customer and admin support and apprenticeships, women play a big role in 2Excel Engineering.

2Excel’s Aerobatic Team, the Blades, has been celebrating International Women’s Day for the past four years through connecting with younger people – no matter their gender – to inspire and encourage them to think about careers in the aviation industry.

The Department for Transport attended the day and produced a short video which can be found on their LinkedIn here.

This annual event is led by the team’s only female pilot and Department for Transport Ambassador, Kirsty Murphy. The event welcomed a variety of young students and a panel of inspirational women. The agenda was focussed on sharing knowledge and experiences. The ultimate goal – to inspire young people to aspire to anything they want to.

2Excel Geo, the remote sensing arm of the company, maps oil spills off the English Coast:

In June 2017, OSRL and Special Missions invited 2Excel Geo to participate in a complex oil on water trial. This involved the controlled spill and subsequent dispersal of 500 litres of Weald Basin crude oil off the English coast. The trial involved surface vessels, above and below water unmanned vehicles, tethered balloons, airborne (UKCS and Geo) and space platforms. The objective for Geo was to assess the utility of hyperspectral imagery to map and characterise the oil spill.

Help us break down the gender barriers today, and beyond, and share our photo highlights.

#WorldPhotoDay #2Excel #PositiveChange

2Excel Engineering’s CEO shortlisted for Lifetime Achievement Award

We’re extremely proud to announce that 2Excel Aviation and its co-founding company director, Captain Chris Norton OBE, have been shortlisted for ‘Employer of the Year’ and the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ respectively in the annual British Ex-Forces in Business Award. 

The Ex-Forces in Business Awards are the world’s largest celebration of ex-military people in second careers. They recognise the value veterans add to businesses as well as the employers that support the transition of servicemen and women.  

Business leader Chris spent more than two decades in the Royal Air Force, flying numerous operational tours, and was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross and an OBE for his front-line service. His Service career culminated in two tours in Whitehall, where he developed Ministry of Defence strategic plans, initially for the Royal Air Force and then for all three Services. On leaving the RAF in 2006, Chris used his nascent entrepreneurial skills to set about an ambitious plan to start a company specialising in complex aviation projects that others shied away from. 

Chris, who holds two positions within 2Excel, has predominantly focused his time over the past four years developing and modernising the former ATC Lasham MRO, after it went into administration. Now operating as 2Excel Engineering, the company delivers deep engineering maintenance, modification and repair services to narrow-body Boeing and Airbus owners and operators.

Entrepreneur Chris has held numerous roles in the business. He been one of 2Excel’s pilots, its Operations Director, its Quality Manager, its Business Commercial Director and is its Accountable Manager (responsible for its regulatory compliance, its safety and its viability as a business). As a Board Director, he sets 2Excel’s vision and strategic direction, resources its plans and develops and controls 2Excel’s oversight, operational and supporting processes. Unwilling to let innovation go completely, he still develops some of its more unusual lines of business and, when no-one else is looking, he still flies. He has developed a range of cutting-edge capabilities to deliver innovative contract-air services to Government, the Defence and Security Industrial Base, the Oil and Gas Industry and agriculture. 

Director and Accountable Manager, Chris Norton, said: ‘‘Thirty-percent of our workforce has a military background; from our pilots to our engineers. 2Excel is a company that recognises the talent and expertise that military experience can bring to a business and therefore, the economy.  

‘‘Within our Special Missions business stream, we recently won a contract to deliver a fixedwing Search & Rescue service for the UK Government and actively targeted service leavers and ex-service personnel who were already in industry during the recruitment campaign because we recognised the need for highly-skilled pilots and systems operators to deliver this contract.   

‘‘We’re committed to promoting within and using our people across the business as much as we can, and this has proved a successful strategy as we continue to win contracts against bigger competitors. 

‘‘Personally, I’m very proud to see 2Excel in the shortlist as we’ve worked very hard for a long time and everyone deserves this type of recognition. To be shortlisted for the Lifetime Achievement Award is also an honour. When I started this company with my co-founders, the vision was to launch an innovative aviation company where ex-forces could use their military skills and progress within industry and business. We have achieved this.’’ 

For more information about the awards, visit https://exforcesinbusiness.co.uk/ 

For further information, please contact:

Ben Griffiths

Head of Communications, 2Excel Engineering

ben.griffiths@2excel.uk

+44 (0) 7753 464 637

Response to Covid-19

(Updated 18 March 2020)

2Excel continues to closely monitor official sources about the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and we want to ensure all our staff, customers and other stakeholders are kept informed about the actions we have taken so far.

Dealing with the effects of Coronavirus is our number one priority. Our Senior Leadership Teams are developing and implementing actions that will mitigate the challenges to our business from the spread of the virus. Our ethos is built on agility, strength and courage and we are proactively managing our risks.

Firstly, we have re-assessed our policies and we believe they are all clear and fit for purpose, including in the light of Covid-19. As the situation evolves, we will update those policies as necessary, in line with UK Government advice.

At the start of the crisis, we stood up a Pandemic Management Team – which is in constant contact and includes our operational managers – to make appropriate business and risk management decisions. This ensures we have the very latest information and advice provided by the UK Government, including the NHS and Public Health England.

In this fast-changing situation there are multiple sources of guidance, but we are basing our decisions solely on the official UK Government advice. Our Pandemic Management Team are reacting rapidly, providing regular updates to all our staff as soon as practically possible.

We communicate directly with our staff via email and, where appropriate, additional information is passed down the existing management chains. Printed hard copies are made available in crew rooms, tea rooms etc.

Health Advice
We have already posted advice notices provided by the UK Government around all our sites with the official NHS recommendations on cleanliness, including hand washing. And we are reminding staff that that anyone suffering from the most common Coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms of a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature – however mild – should immediately self-isolate themselves for seven days. This will protect others in the community against infection.

Since UK Government advice was updated on 16 March 2020 for everyone in the UK to ‘stop non-essential contact with others’ and ‘stop all unnecessary travel’, only essential personnel are working at our premises. Those that can work from home are now doing so, with all non-essential visits to our sites cancelled. Where possible, we are looking to conduct business via virtual meetings or conference calls to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

So that we can continue with normal business as best we possibly can and to take care of our people, many of whom are unable to work from home due to the nature of their roles, we have increased cleaning of our sites and are providing anti-bacterial hand gels and other materials.

Together we will get through this incredibly challenging period and we thank all our staff, customers and suppliers for their patience, hard work and understanding at this time.

ENDS

NCW: The very start of a career in aviation

Just before Christmas 2015, 2Excel Aviation bought the business of ATC Lasham – an MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul company) that had very recently gone into administration. With this came a host of challenges, including a depleted labour force, but most importantly a struggling reputation.

In the past four years, ATC Lasham, now known as 2Excel Engineering (2EE), has had significant boosts to the business, customer relationships are far improved, and staff morale has seen a definite increase. We invested in the 43 staff that remained when it took over, with pay rises, funding for training and investment in the site’s facilities. And, we recognised the importance of investing in people because, in return, they invest themselves into the company.

As a result, we are proud to be supporting an apprenticeship scheme for a third year. Around 10 apprentices join us each year for the three-year programme, learning the ropes of being an aeronautical engineer, living and breathing the heritage and expertise of the site and its people.

This is how is how we do it…

To select our apprentices, we operate a feeder programme in the form of a series of week-long work placements for local colleges and organisations that offer Aeronautical Engineering (or similar) in their syllabus. This week we caught up with Josh and Kim, who are both completing their Level 3 Aeronautical Engineering course at Fareham, and Farnborough college.

Josh said: “I was encouraged to apply to the 2Excel apprenticeship scheme rather than the big airlines from a mentor, because at 2EE you get chucked in straight away, and because of the variation in the apprenticeship scheme.

“I’ve always had a passion for engineering, which stemmed from my dad’s love of steam-locomotives, and at the age of 12 I flew a flight simulator at Farnborough – and that’s what inspired me to work with planes.

“I’m really enjoying the work experience week at 2EE because I’m getting to experience so much that we don’t get taught in the classroom. I’m currently working on a Boeing 737, swapping components from an old engine to the new one, working with the ‘sparkies’. I’ve liked this area so much that I’m now thinking about specialising in engines.”

Kim spoke about her aspirations: “I’m looking to secure an apprenticeship place for September with 2EE so I was really keen to have a work experience week here.

“My love of aviation came from going to Bournemouth airshow with my family when I was younger, but it wasn’t until I got my first car that I realised I was interested in the engineering side of things.

“I’ve loved the hands-on aspect at 2EE because I’ve been given responsibility and trust from the start of the week. It’s been awesome learning as much as I can and having a different mentor each day means I get to see all the varied work.”

Josh and Kim will find out in April if they have been successful in attaining a place on the 2EE’s Apprenticeship Scheme for 2020, where they could take the next steps to becoming fully-fledged Aeronautical Engineers.

#apprentice #NAW2020

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