Reaction Engines celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

Mon, 2019-03-04 11:02

At Reaction Engines we run an Advanced Level 4 Apprenticeship Scheme to ensure our apprentices come out at the cutting edge of engineering and science disciplines. Our four-year apprenticeship scheme allows you to spend time visiting different departments, learning about different areas of an engineering business with the final part working in a chosen department.

“An apprenticeship at Reaction Engines offers the best of both words as individuals get to gain a recognised qualification whist also getting valuable work experience by learning on the job. It is an amazing opportunity to develop the skills needed for a rewarding career in engineering and aerospace with a future focussed business. It also benefits the company by nurturing the skilled workforce needed for the future.” Lisa,  Head of HR

Here’s what our current apprentices have to say about life at Reaction Engines:


Tell me a little bit about yourself…

Tom: I am 19 years old and currently in my third year of the apprenticeship. When I joined Reaction Engines I was 16.  The first year of college was hard as I had basic level maths, english and science but the college helped a lot and I managed to work through it well.

George: I am 21 years old and joined Reaction Engines in September 2015. I am now in my third and final year of the apprenticeship scheme. I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of mechanical engineering but mainly I like to spend my time designing parts on CAD and then using the 3D printer to create the designs. I would consider my key skills to be maths, physics and my ability to do hands on work. 

Callum: I am 21 years old. I have got A-levels in maths, physics and engineering.  I also completed a BTEC level 3 in Mechanical Engineering and I am going on to complete my HNC. I joined Reaction Engines in September 2016  and am now in my third year.




Why did you choose to join Reaction Engines through the Apprenticeship Scheme?

George: When I was looking for apprenticeships Reaction Engines stood out to me because it seemed like a very exciting and interesting company to work for. Not only this, but the company was relatively small and this made me feel more included than the other companies that I had interviewed at. 

Callum: Helping with the development of SABRE isn’t something you can do in any job, the experience from this apprenticeship would be completely different to any other. Each day, there is something new and exciting happening.

Tom: I chose to apply to Reaction Engines as I had a keen interest in aerospace engineering and engines. The scheme appealed to me because it is a four year apprenticeship at a highly advanced company. 


What has been the best thing about your apprenticeship?

George: Working as a Reaction Engines apprentice is an extremely satisfying and enlightening glimpse into many aspects of the engineering and aerospace industry. Reaction Engines has numerous departments and specialisms that as an apprentice makes my time here very diverse and always interesting. 

Callum: Helping to design projects and seeing them through to the final part/assembly.

Tom: The best thing about the apprenticeship scheme and the company is working with new technology and cutting edge ideas. The first year of college was good because of the volume of learning both practical and theoretical work. It’s nice now to be in the work place getting to know the company and the people in it better.




What have you enjoyed learning the most throughout your apprenticeship? 

Callum: How to make/interpret drawings to then receive/machine.

George: Since beginning my apprenticeship I have grown as a person as well as an engineer. I feel that I am more confident and more skilled in many areas of engineering as well as being further developed in communication, allowing me to voice my opinion more freely and be more forthcoming with ideas. I have seen my own work improve over the years. Reaction Engines has supported me massively with both my college education and my personal skill set at work, which will help to further my career wherever it may lead. 

Tom: I enjoy developing my skills in metal fabrication and CNC Machining.


What is your advice to someone who would like join the apprenticeship scheme at Reaction Engines?

Callum: It is a great opportunity so if you get the chance, go for it.

George: For someone who is just starting at Reaction Engines, I would suggest that they have an open mind as to the work you are given, and if you have an idea as to how something could be done better or improved then don’t be afraid to share it. The company is attempting to invent and discover, sometimes entirely new technology, and there is not always a set in stone way something should be done, they should understand this and should never be worried to ask questions.




Growing up, did you always know you wanted to work in engineering?

George: When I was growing up I always thought I would go into something computer based such as programming or software development, but I did always have an engineering side to my childhood with my dad being an ex-mechanic. I found myself frequently working on motorbikes, push bikes and model remote control cars.

Callum: No, I had no idea what I wanted to do until I did some work experience in Secondary School. 

Tom: I have always had a big interest in becoming an engineer from a young age as I have spent most of my spare time working with and rebuilding cars and motorbikes. I restored a 1989 Mini Mayfair when I was 16 and would spend most weekends working on it for a year and a half throughout restoration. This is where I picked up my basic skills that have helped in the apprenticeship.


What made you want to pursue a career in engineering?

George: When I was completing my GCSE’s I found a liking to a course that I took that was very similar to resistant materials. In this course we used all sorts of different tools and machines, it was also around this time that I became strongly interested in purchasing and restoring old motorcycles. I believe that doing this course and playing with stuff in my garage cemented my want to pursue a career in engineering.

Callum: After doing work experience in Year 10 at the MINI Plant Oxford, the work seemed quite interesting and it was quite a fun week. During Year 11 I went to the Unilever Aerosol factory in Leeds which confirmed my interest in engineering. I then went and did some more work experience during my A-levels.


Applications for our 2019 Apprenticeship Scheme are now open, please visit our vacancies page for more information.