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Training Tomorrow’s Flying Stars

June 17, 2014

Bristow Helicopters’ engineering apprentices well on their way to success

Aberdeen-based helicopter operator, Bristow Helicopters Ltd, has confirmed that its latest intake of 22 engineering apprentices have successfully completed their initial eight months of training at the LRTT College in Gloucester. The future engineers were selected from a field of more than 1,300 applicants last spring after a rigorous assessment process in Aberdeen.

The apprentices, who hail from across the UK, are now set to undertake the next stage of their induction training in the Granite City.

“We place huge value on developing talent within our company as it allows us to instill our renowned culture of safety and integrity in all of our recruits.”

Ten of the apprentices are destined to support Bristow’s oil and gas operations, and another ten will join its UK Search and Rescue (SAR) service. Two apprentices are looking forward to a career at Bristow’s Design and Production Center in Redhill, Surrey.

Bristow was awarded the UK SAR contract by the Department for Transport, and will deliver SAR helicopter service on behalf of The Maritime & Coastguard Agency from ten bases across the UK, beginning April 2015. One SAR apprentice will go on to work at each of the ten SAR bases.

The initial eight-month training program has comprised structured classroom lessons and practical workshops designed to equip apprentices with the skills that will be essential intheir new careers. The course was jointly designed with Bristow and LRTT to meet the Modern Apprenticeship requirements, as well as the specific requirements of the aviation industry and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

By the time they have completed their four-year Modern Apprenticeship course in September 2017, they will all have experienced a wide variety of tasks in multiple Bristow UK bases and will have become valued assets in the Bristow maintenance team of the future. Initially, apprentices become Part-66 A3 licensed mechanics and many will proceed on to higher qualifications like Part-66 B1.3 and B2.

Mike Imlach, Managing Director of Bristow Helicopters Ltd, said: “The number of applications we received for these highly skilled positions was phenomenal and it’s great to see the chosen 22 making good progress through the scheme. This year’s intake of apprentices was the highest for some years and reflects the strength of the business and our eagerness to invest in the future.

“We were particularly pleased to be able to recruit SAR apprentice engineers from areas close to each of our SAR bases, allowing us to invest in providing jobs and training opportunities to the local community.

“These 22 apprentices will join our existing, ever-expanding team of 37 apprentices that are currently developing their careers at our bases in Aberdeen and throughout the UK. We place huge value on developing talent within our company as it allows us to instill our renowned culture of safety and integrity in all of our recruits.”