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Apprentices Seamlessly Transition to Bristow, Prepare for Bright Future

February 05, 2020

When Thomas Cook Airlines went into liquidation, the company's engineering apprentices faced uncertainty in their careers. With their company going under, how could they continue their training and career? Bristow quickly stepped in and ensured two of the apprentices seamlessly transitioned into the ranks of Bristow.

Bristow Engineering Training Manager Paul Richardson and Human Resources Business Partner Adesola Arunah participated in an apprentice support day hosted by Resource Group, an aviation technical training and recruitment company with whom Bristow has a long standing relationship, to place the apprentices within various organizations, including Bristow, to secure the continuity of their apprenticeships.

Apprentices Kinga Gorzelanczyk and Robert Bugden made the transition to Bristow on December 1, 2019, and have been hard at work ever since. Kinga is based in Humberside and is set to complete her A1 modular training course in August/September 2020, then she will commence her on-the-job training across Bristow bases while she pursues her A3 certification. Robert recently completed his classroom portion of the A1 modular training and is currently putting that theory into practice in hangars across the UK. He plans on continuing his education and pursuing his A3 certification.

"There are going to be some challenges for the apprentices as they transition from fixed-wing jets to helicopters, but both apprentices are motivated, and Bristow's engineering team members are ready to help," said Richardson.

"Close collaboration between Resource Group and Bristow with the full cooperation of our Base Maintenance Engineering team in Aberdeen are ensuring a smooth transition and a solid education for these apprentices," said Arunah. "This is critical, as these apprentices are the future of aviation."

The objective of Modern Apprenticeship (MA) program is to join motivated young people and enthusiastic employers together to create long-lasting careers. The European aviation industry is regulated with a confusing amount of legislation, which is a natural barrier to encouraging new starters in engineering, so the MA helps with those initial few steps up the career ladder.

For many young people at their early career crossroads and choices, it might be tempting to bypass the MA and choose the more academic route with their school friends through a degree course at university. An unfortunate side effect to going the degree route in aviation is that the degrees obtained are not recognized by the legislators (this is the same in all European countries) because these qualifications, although valid, have no common equivalence between different countries. The MA produces qualified and experienced staff for Bristow in the same time frame as a degree course.

"I am delighted that Bristow is supporting some of the apprentices who were affected by the unfortunate situation with Thomas Cook," said Director of UK & Turkmenistan Oil and Gas Operations Matt Rhodes. "Bristow has a long-standing commitment to develop highly capable engineers of the future through our apprenticeships and takes pride in the standards that our frontline engineers operate to. I was fortunate to meet with Kinga and Robert shortly after they joined our company. Like many aspects of aviation, getting accustomed with the basics in any role has its challenges, but I am certain that with hard work and commitment they will be successful as they progress through their training."

"Both Robert and Kinga will be working and gaining experience at nominated bases around the UK, so make sure you stop and say hello to them," said Richardson.