Meggitt has been solving some of the world’s toughest engineering challenges for over 150 years. In close partnership with its customers, Meggitt provides technologically differentiated systems and products with high certification requirements in the aerospace, defence and energy markets.
The Meggitt team have developed a close and successful relationship with MTC Apprenticeships’ training experts since we first began working together four years ago. Meggitt is passionate about apprenticeships at all levels of the business, and has made apprentices a central part of its future strategy and succession plan. The latest cohort of MTC apprentices is their fourth group of fresh new talent to date.
Marie Smart, Head of Early Careers at Meggitt, explained why the business values apprenticeships so highly:
“An apprenticeship gives you the practical hands-on skills as well as the knowledge base, so our young technicians get real work experience alongside the understanding of why we do what we do at Meggitt. This is really important to us. The skills they get at the MTC are the skills we need for the future, so as well as bringing a more diverse range of talent into our business, our apprentices help us to diversify our thinking too, and challenge the way that we do things.”
As a large global organisation, Meggitt offers apprentices a huge range of career and progression opportunities. Whilst on programme at Meggitt, the apprentices rotate through different business areas to gather experience with a variety of teams, products, manufacturing methods and ways of working.
Marie added, “It’s important to us that our apprentices get a good range of experience across lots of different areas of the business to help them to make an informed decision about where they want to specialise in the future. We work with our apprentices on an individual basis to understand what they’re passionate about and where they see their career going, so that we can support them to progress into that area.
“There are so many opportunities at Meggitt because we’re such a large company – some of our apprentices progress into leadership or supervisory roles, whilst others have stepped into Design Engineering after they’ve completed their training.”
As well as gaining new knowledge and skills in their day-to-day roles, Meggitt apprentices are also encouraged to broaden their experience and networks through the company’s colleague-established Employee Resource Groups, with focuses including Young Professionals, STEM, Mental Health and LGBTQ+.
“The apprentices add a huge amount of value both through their roles and through the Employee Resource Groups”, said Marie. “We recently asked our second year apprentices to work with our STEM Group on a project to inspire school children’s interest in engineering. Most of our apprentices are much younger than the rest of us, so it means they really understand what resonates with young people and how we can inspire them to get involved! They produced fantastic presentations to introduce Meggitt and what we do, and created really engaging activities to inspire people to get into STEM through a hands-on experience of Meggitt in the classroom.”
It’s not only Marie that has been impressed with the MTC apprentices. Many of Meggitt’s line managers have also commented on the quality of talent that is joining the business, and are keen to support them along the way.
“The feedback from the apprentices’ line managers has been really good! A lot of our managers are ex-apprentices themselves, so they understand the programme and what we’re expecting apprentices to achieve. At Meggitt, we look for apprentices who are willing to work hard, who are open to learning and feedback, and are passionate about what we do. It’s also essential that they enjoy getting stuck in to hands-on manufacturing in a very collaborative working environment.
The managers have told us that there is some exceptionally bright talent coming through, and that they’re excited to see how these young technicians are going to progress as they gain more knowledge and experience. They also tell us that apprentices bring a different energy to their teams, and different questions from our more established engineers.”
The apprentices spend the first year of their programme learning off-the-job in the state of the art Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC) at Ansty Park in Coventry. The training is led by proven industry experts in an environment at the very forefront of technological advancements. The programme includes exposure to disruptive technologies and new ways of working, empowering learners to help accelerate innovation when they return to their employers. An ambitious enrichment programme also supports development of the ‘soft skills’ they’ll need for professional and personal success.
“What I like most is the design of the programme,” Marie explained. “The upfront learning means the apprentices have a really great grounding and are well-prepared. They’ve worked on different high-spec equipment, and come in ready to pick up and understand what we do, so that it’s about applying their knowledge to what we do here at Meggitt, rather than starting from scratch.
“The AMTC facilities are fantastic too, and we have a really great relationship with the MTC Team. We have regular meetings and progress reports that really help us to make the most of our apprentices, and make sure they’re making the most of their opportunities. It means we can step in and provide extra support where it’s needed, or give the high fliers an extra push if they’re really excelling. We really enjoy working with the MTC Team, and it’s been a great experience for us.”