By Laura Cronin 20 Jan 2023 6 min read

Exploring engineering apprenticeships: Atlantic Aviation Group

We recently spoke with Atlantic Aviation Group to find out more about the apprenticeship opportunities that they offer, and their advice for aspiring engineers...


Could you tell us a little bit about the apprenticeship programme(s) that you have on offer at Atlantic Aviation Group, particularly within Engineering?

The Apprenticeship Programme we have on offer here at Atlantic Aviation Group is our Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Apprenticeship. The programme trains candidates to qualify as Aircraft Maintenance Engineers who are employed throughout the aviation industry and are responsible for many types of aircraft. Engineers inspect, maintain, modify, and repair air frames, engines, and avionics. There is also a large amount of sheet metal repairs and corrosion. 


How long does the programme last, and what qualifications/licences would an apprentice have upon completing the course?

Our apprenticeship is a four-year programme. Successful completion of this apprenticeship leads to obtaining an internationally recognised Aircraft Maintenance License and the opportunity to work in an exciting, growing industry.


How often do you take on new cohorts, and how many apprentices do you accept?

We take on a new class of apprentices once a year with the application process typically beginning in Spring and our new recruits starting on to the programme in September. We usually take on 15 new apprentices each year but this year we are aiming to double our intake! 


What is the application process like?

Applications begin in Spring 2023 and can be made online on our website. Applications are screened and those who succeed the first round are invited to complete an aptitude test in both general and mechanical reasoning. Successful candidates are then assessed by a panel of examiners. This includes interviews and manual dexterity tests. Successful candidates who best meet all requirements may then be offered an apprenticeship. All job offers are subject to passing medical and colour vision tests and to producing required educational documents.


What are the different stages involved in the apprenticeship?

This four-year programme consists of both on-the-job and off-the-job training, with on-the-job training taking place at our Shannon facility. Assessment is via a mixture of continuous and end-of-course examination. This continuous assessment will include practical and written assignments, together with homework study during a four-year training term. During the Apprenticeship, the Apprentice will be expected to complete a portfolio which will demonstrate the outcome of their learning. The apprenticeship programme covers Engineering plus an introduction to Avionics, Aircraft Structures, Jet Engines and Systems.


Whereabouts do your apprenticeships take place?

Our apprenticeship programme takes place primarily our facility beside Shannon airport. There is some off the job training which takes place in SOLAS Shannon or DIT Bolton St or another suitable training facility. 


What are some of the biggest benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship at Atlantic Aviation Group?

Our prestigious Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Apprenticeship programme has been running for over 30 years. We are proud to have produced award-winning apprentices at both national and international levels. We are passionate about our people and their career development - some of our senior management team started off their journey with us as an apprentice! Living and working in the mid-west of Ireland also provides many opportunities with Shannon airport right on your doorstep. 

What career opportunities exist for those who have completed an apprenticeship with you?

Apprentices have many opportunities available to them upon completion of this programme. Many apprentices stay with Atlantic Aviation Group, further developing their skills and establishing their career in aircraft maintenance. All our graduated apprentices are equipped with an internationally recognised Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Licence provided by the Irish Aviation Authority allowing for opportunities to work abroad. 


What are your main goals for the future in terms of bringing in new talent to the industry?

With the demand for aircraft maintenance services continuing to grow, we aim to increase the number of apprentices we take onto the programme. This year, we plan on doubling the number of apprentices that were accepted in 2022. We are also keen to continue our journey in encouraging female participation in the programme. In 2022 approximately 33% of our apprenticeship intake were female and we hope to continue to encourage and inspire women to consider a career in aviation. 

Our reputation is built on the quality of service we provide to our customers, and this is a testament to the training received on the apprenticeship programme as many of our current and most senior employees entered the industry through the programme. We aim to continue developing talent in this way with the view of offering stable, long-term careers to those who we see as the future of Atlantic Aviation Group.

What advice would you give to young and aspiring engineers who may be considering an apprenticeship?

If you are interested in how things work, enjoy taking things apart and putting things back together and learning on the job, you should certainly explore an apprenticeship. If you have good dexterity, enjoy working with your hands and have a mechanical mind, our apprenticeship programme may be the one for you! 

Learn more about apprenticeships with Atlantic Aviation Group here.

Browse the latest engineering jobs here.