GKN Aerospace – Bristol almost doubles 2013 apprentice intake

Published on: 29th January 2013

• Open evening on the 31st January begins this year’s recruitment process 

An open evening from 4.30pm to 7.00pm at the BAWA Centre, Southmead Rd, Filton on Thursday 31st January, 2013 marks the start of the recruitment of this year’s intake of apprentices to GKN Aerospace in Bristol. This year, the company will start 44 apprentices on their training programme, almost doubling the figure of 23 apprentices taken on at these sites just a year ago.

GKN Aerospace’s apprentice scheme at the Filton and Western Approach sites has grown every year since the company bought the Filton manufacturing operation in 2009, when just 10 apprentices started training with the company. This year of the 44 apprentices GKN Aerospace will take on in Bristol, 38 will be advanced apprenticeships* and 6 will be higher apprenticships.**

John Pritchard, Managing Director, GKN Aerospace – Filton comments:  “The success of our apprenticeship scheme – for us as an employer as well as for our young trainees – is apparent the constant growth of our Bristol- based programme. Here we offer young people training in state-of-the-art aerospace manufacturing skills working with the latest metallic and composite materials. We get them involved in the production process swiftly so that by their second year they are making a real contribution, under careful supervision, to creating the highly complex wing structures we provide for some of the world’s leading military and commercial aircraft.”

GKN Aerospace has a worldwide reputation for its engineering innovation and technological expertise and this is very evident at the two Bristol sites, which represent the centre of the company’s global wing structures business.  Today, the workforce at these sites designs, manufactures and assembles critical structures for the latest military, civilian and business aircraft.  Current work includes providing: wing movable surfaces for Dassault’s new super mid-sized business jet; precision-machined titanium structures for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter; wing structures for Airbus’s ubiquitous A330 and A320 aircraft programmes – and for their huge, double deck A380 passenger airliner; and primary all-composite wing structures the A400M military freighter and Airbus’s latest addition to the family – the A350XWB.

Steve Colebrook, General Manager at the Western Approach facility continues: “Today at both Filton and Western Approach our wing structures engineering and manufacturing skills are second to none. Having started my own career as an apprentice I know that the contribution of the young people who join this scheme will be critical to our long term business success.  It is a true pleasure to see each individual develop and grow in confidence through this apprenticeship programme.” 

GKN Aerospace, the aerospace arm of the British-based, international engineering group GKN, is a major UK industrial success story. The operation is one of the world’s largest independent first tier suppliers to the global aviation industry and is a market leader in all its areas of business. Its turnover has more than doubled since 2005 rising to £2.1bn, and its workforce has increased to12,000 people in 30 manufacturing facilities across 3 continents.