By Laura Cronin 21 Feb 2023 5 min read

Life as a first-year Aircraft Engineering Apprentice at TUI

We speak to Connor Rhodes, first-year Aircraft Engineering Apprentice at TUI, about what he's learned so far, what he's looking forward to learning in the rest of his apprenticeship, and what advice he would give to aspiring engineers.


What first made you decide to pursue a career in engineering?

I’ve always had an interest in aircraft and how things work. I enjoy being practical and working on things with my hands, so knew that if I combined these two interests, I would have a job that I would love doing.


What was it about the apprenticeship route that appealed to you?

I enjoy practical working and find the best way for me to learn is to actually do it with my own hands. For this reason, I knew that the university route wasn’t for me as I prefer the practical side over the theory. I knew the best way to grow and build my skills was to practise and gain valuable experience in the workplace.


Could you describe what the application process was like at TUI?

I applied for the TUI apprenticeship at the start of my final year of my A-Levels. I was open to relocate in order to get an aircraft engineering apprenticeship, so this made my options for securing a role easier. After I completed the application form, I then completed some online assessments to test my basic skills. I was then invited to an assessment centre and subsequent interview, before securing an offer. 


You’re a few months into your apprenticeship - how has the experience been so far?

So far, I have enjoyed every moment of my apprenticeship. I have had a bit of hangar experience but spend the majority of my time at college with our training provider. Here, I am studying for my modules and taking my exams in order to be able to gain my Cat A licence. I have learnt a lot of new skills and also spent some time doing some sheet metal workshop tasks which were very interesting and fun!


What are you most looking forward to learning or experiencing in the rest of your apprenticeship?

I am looking forward to being able to independently complete tasks in the hangar on the wide range of planes that TUI have in their fleet. I am excited to work on our 787 Dreamliner fleet as these planes are so big and really interest me! I am also excited about being able to get experience in all departments within engineering and get an insight into how they all work and come together. 


Do you have any particular career goals that you’re working towards?

When I have completed and gained my Cat A licence, I would like to become a B1 licenced aircraft engineer and lead a team of experienced engineers. I enjoy learning new things and want to absorb as much information from people as I can.


What advice would you give to any aspiring engineers out there who are planning their first career steps?

My advice to anyone who is wanting to become an aircraft engineer is to go for it! Apply for the apprenticeships which are available out there. TUI have been fantastic and have supported me from the get go. They offer a great apprenticeship program whilst also allowing you to gain the practical experience which you need.


Learn more about apprenticeship opportunities with TUI here.

Browse all the latest aircraft engineering jobs here.