We spoke to Joshua Price, Aircraft Engineering Apprentice at Ryanair, to learn more about what his experience has been like so far, and what advice he'd give to other engineers in the early stages of their careers.
What made you decide to pursue a career in engineering?
I’ve always enjoyed putting things together and fixing things; it started off with Lego when I was younger and gradually progressed to more mechanical systems. I am originally from South Wales, near Cardiff airport so I always saw the aircraft around the airport so my passion for aviation grew. Once I found out I could combine two passions of mine, fixing things and working on and around aircraft, I knew it was the career for me.
What was it about the apprenticeship route that appealed to you?
An apprenticeship route always appealed to me as it enabled me to get a mix of practical, hands on training and valuable theory training whilst earning.
Could you describe the path you've taken to get to this point in your career?
From the time I left school in 2017 until 2020 I studied aviation engineering at level 2 and level 3. One of the colleges I studied at (Coleg Gwent) was fortunate enough to have an on-site composite laboratory where I was able to get hands on experience with composite materials like fibreglass and carbon fibre which I really enjoyed!
Unfortunately by the time I finished my courses, Covid had hit so a lot of the aviation apprenticeships had been put on pause. Despite this I never gave up on my dream career in aviation. Once the apprenticeships started to open up again, I applied and was fortunate enough to be offered the Ryanair apprenticeship as part of their 2nd Cohort of the CAT A engineering apprenticeship at Stansted Airport in partnership with Resource Group and I'm currently sitting my modules towards my CAT A licence.
You're in the first year of your apprenticeship with Ryanair, how has the experience been so far?
I started with Ryanair in March of last year and it has been an incredible experience. Ryanair has been extremely supportive of my colleagues and I during our training. The modules for the CAT A licence have really helped to develop my knowledge of the aircraft systems and better prepared me for when I will start to work on the line with more experienced engineers sometime in the new year.
What are you most looking forward to learning or experiencing in the rest of your apprenticeship?
I am extremely excited to start working on the line, assisting in day to day operations on the aircraft and by gaining experience and learning from the engineers this will help to further progress my knowledge and career with Ryanair.
What are the biggest challenges you've faced in your career so far?
Biggest challenge in my career, like many others, has been COVID and the aviation industry coming to a standstill. During this time I persisted in my passion for aviation and used this time to develop my knowledge and skills in CAD in another engineering sector, whilst the aviation industry was bouncing back.
What do you enjoy the most about your day-to-day role?
I am currently sitting Module 15-Gas turbine engines and what I’m enjoying is learning all about the systems which will help me to understand the systems better when I am working on the line. Gaining the knowledge from different tutors who are specialists in their subjects has been great as you can ask them questions to further your knowledge and understand things better.
What advice would you give to any aspiring engineers out there who are planning their first career steps or perhaps considering an apprenticeship?
My advice for anyone looking to get an apprenticeship is to just go for it! It allows you to earn whilst you learn, gain a recognised qualification and gain hands on, on the job training to further your career. Other benefits I have personally experienced is you have the opportunity to work closely with other apprentices and support each other during your training.
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