„I wanted to work in the aerospace industry”

Arsalan Raza Ahmad – Technical Engineering Apprentice, employed by BOS Aerospace 

My name is Arsalan Raza Ahmad and I am a first year Technical Apprentice for BOS Aerospace. I was offered work experience in Year 10 for a week at SETA, while at my school Priestnall High. This was brilliant as I could experience what I could potentially be doing at SETA if I decided to go down the apprenticeship route.

Work experience showed me I had the capability to enjoy an apprenticeship and I could show employers that I was work ready. However I eventually decided to go to Loreto College. I soon realised this was a mistake for me, studying in a classroom wasn’t my preferred option – I wanted to get some hands on technical experience, so I contacted SETA again.

HOW DID YOU START YOUR ENGINEERING APPRENTICESHIP?

SETA  arranged for me to attend an interview with BOS Aerospace, which was excellent because I wanted to work in the aerospace industry. I got through the interview stages and was told a week later that I had successfully got the apprenticeship.I would go on to start on the 6th of October at SETA to do my engineering training.

The Engineering GCSE that I did at Priestnall really gave me a clear understanding of the field and the industry. From a young age I have always enjoyed exploring how technical equipment operates and the functions of those devices. This kind of interest is key to being successful not just at SETA but with engineering as a whole.

Now that I am at SETA I am loving it and don’t regret it one bit. When I started we participated in a health & safety  induction programme so we are aware of the hazards of the engineering environment that we would be working in. This was reinforced at my company training, which particularly values understanding of safety as vital to the job.

At SETA the first area I was trained on was Electrical, I didn’t have any real knowledge about electrical systems at GCSE level previously. I covered several areas of electrical training at SETA, both practically and theoretically

This is a part of the NVQ Level 2 in Engineering. We started off on electrics first, which consisted of various circuits having to be wired up. We started off by wiring up a light from the consumer unit to the circuit breaker and then all the way to the light itself. Then the circuit increased in difficulty and we had to do various tests to make sure the wiring and circuit is fully operational and safe. I have also completed bench fitting, which trains me to read drawings, measure accurately and make components by hand. I also completed units in pneumatics and mechanical maintenance.

WHAT YOUR DAY AS AN APPRENTICE LOOKS LIKE?

I’m at SETA three days a week. I do NVQ2 twice a week which is predominantly the practical element of the apprenticeship. I also do one day a week classroom training for my BTEC Level 3 in Engineering, which is theoretical and academic part of my engineering apprenticeship. The other two days I am at BOS Aerospace, being trained to undergo the day to day engineering activities of the company.

I personally believe this is an ideal way of learning for me as it gives a lot of variety throughout the week and there is always something to look forward to. In the BTEC I have been aiming for high marks, because I really enjoy learning about engineering especially when it will have a big impact on my future, as I can progress onto HNC and beyond.