We are pleased to be able to announce that two of our talented young apprentices, Callum Tinson and Thomas Hawthorne, have completed their four year Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship Programme. After spending time in numerous parts of the business, both are continuing their careers with Reaction engines in design and technical support respectively.
It has been a long journey for Callum and Tom who both entered the programme directly from school; Tom post-GCSEs and Callum post A-levels. We caught up with them at the end of August to discuss their journey and how they have navigated the transition from full time education to an immersive apprenticeship scheme at the forefront of aerospace engineering.
Q. Congratulations on completing your apprenticeship! What have you enjoyed most about the experience?
Tom – The best part of the programme, for me, has definitely been carrying out all the placements within the Company. I have learnt about so many different aspects of engineering as well as improving my hands-on skills.
Callum – Yeah, being exposed to so many different functions has been really exciting. I have particularly enjoyed working in design, which is where I see my career going. I really enjoy designing and creating parts and seeing them all the way through to manufacture/assembly.
Q. What have you found most challenging about the scheme?
Tom – The transition from school to work was a real shock to the system at first! To go from full time education to being an integral part of a highly skilled team of technicians was a steep learning curve. We were given a lot of responsibility very early on in the scheme. It was a real challenge, but a really great way to learn on-the-job.
Callum – Working in design I have found it really challenging when trying to create designs in a way that a part/assembly would be manufactured for real-life applications, i.e. taking into account size and space for assembly or servicing etc. I am sure this will get easier with experience!
Q. What attracted you to the Reaction Engines Apprenticeship Scheme in the first place?
Callum - I really enjoyed A Level Engineering, but I was kind of overwhelmed by the huge variety of roles and potential career paths and I was unsure as to which route to take. I did some research and found that the Reaction Engines scheme is really flexible and allows you to experience lots of different aspects of engineering before settling on a particular route. Lots of other schemes tie you into a set route quite early on. I really liked the idea that I could guide my own career and pursue the avenue that enjoy the most.
Tom – I agree with Callum, the flexibility is a real benefit. Also, Reaction Engines stood out to me as really innovative company at the forefront of the aerospace industry. It was just a company that I really wanted to be part of.
Q. Finally – what advice would you give to somebody considering applying for an apprenticeship with Reaction Engines?
Tom – It is a really competitive process and preparation is everything. You should do a lot of research on the company, what they are trying to achieve and the industry in general. It is a really close-knit team who are very passionate about what they do and they are looking for people who share that passion and innovative spirit.
Callum – I would say not to worry if you are not 100% sure on exactly where you see your career heading in engineering. You will gain a lot of experience across the board on this scheme and you can decide with your mentors where you want to take your career based on what you have enjoyed most. If you are passionate about aerospace and want to learn, you will be successful here. If you get the opportunity, do it!
Adam Bampton, who acted as Tom and Callum’s mentor throughout the scheme, had this to say:
“Tom and Callum have been fantastic apprentices and we are very pleased that they have successfully completed the programme. The Reaction Engines Apprenticeship Scheme is not easy and we demand exceptionally high standards from our apprentices; they are given a significant amount of responsibility very early on and are expected to deliver results like any other Reaction Engines employee. From day one Callum and Tom showed the kind of aptitude, innovation and desire to learn that was required to excel on this scheme. We are all very proud of the lads and look forward to working alongside them in the future”.
Further details outining our schemes for next year will be made avaible on our website and social media channels soon, so make sure to check back and stay up to date.