Female engineering apprentice quashes stereotypes to land dream job at GE Aviation


ge aviationA 24 year old science buff from Caerphilly has quashed gender stereotypes to secure her dream job as an aircraft engineer after completing an apprenticeship with GE Aviation.

Jade Babbington left school in June 2010 at the age of 17 after completing A-levels in Maths, French and Chemistry. Like many of her friends she opted for the academic pathway and started studying for a master’s degree in Engineering at Cardiff University.

After just six months, Jade realised that classroom-based learning at university was not the hands-on approach she had enjoyed while doing work experience at GE Aviation during her summer holidays. After deciding to look at alternative routes into her preferred career in engineering, she came across the opportunity to do an apprenticeship in Aircraft Engineering.

In September 2011, Jade started a Level 3 apprenticeship in Aircraft Engineering at GE Aviation where she spent three years rotating around the shop floor, learning skills in building, repairing, inspecting and overhauling engines.

Jade said, “I’ve always been a bit different from my friends in that subjects like maths and science have made much more sense to me than any others. I’m really practical and enjoy using my hands to build, fix and dismantle things so a career in engineering seemed like the only career pathway for me.”

Jade added “The apprenticeship immediately offered me a chance to learn new skills on a daily basis and provided me with the practical hands on approach to learning that I enjoy.”

“I feel like during the three years I have acquired relevant vocational skills that I will use and apply on a day to day basis.”

Since completing her apprenticeship in June 2014, Jade has gone on to undertake an Apprentice Assessor NVQ and is currently studying a foundation business degree part-time at the University of South Wales. She has also completed her Level 2 ILM qualification in Leadership and Team Skills.

Jade added, “I’m really excited about my future and where I will be able to go from here.”

Louise Burnell, GE Aviation’s Apprentice Coordinator said: “Jade has been an outstanding apprentice and highlights just how far apprentices can come in such a short time.

“GE Aviation Wales prides itself on providing career opportunities for talented individuals and we are extremely proud of our apprenticeship scheme. The growth that the business experiences through the apprenticeship programme is integral, ensuring that engineering skills remain sustainable across south Wales. It is through programmes like this that we can enhance employees’ technical capabilities and develop a robust skill set, boosting Wales’ reputation as a key place to trade.”

“Our apprenticeship programme is extremely well established within the business and is held in high regard across GE and the wider community.

“The apprenticeship programme helps to build a pipeline of future talent into the business, creating a highly skilled, knowledgeable and motivated workforce. The programme helps to eliminate the threat of skills shortage and sustains skills and capabilities in Wales. The programme is a great way to harness fresh talent into the business – who are enthusiastic, challenge the status quo and improve processes and many of our apprentices’ go on to have extremely long and robust careers within the aviation industry.”

Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, said: “In Wales, the number of employers offering apprenticeships is on the rise and I’m encouraged to see organisations like GE Aviation committing to up-skilling their workforce.

“Apprenticeships represent one of the most practical and effective ways that businesses can access quality training and raise their skills levels. Apprenticeships enable employees to develop higher level technical and professional skills to train on the job and develop the job specific skills employers need to keep up with industry changes and demand.”

The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with the support of the European Social Fund.

For more information about recruiting an apprentice, please visit Skills Gateway for Business or call 03000 6 03000. Also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/apprenticeshipscymru  and on Twitter @apprenticewales