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Inspiring the Next Generation of Aircraft Engineers

Published: December 14, 2018

Cornwall College Camborne

It was access all areas for a lucky group of students as they visited one of the UK’s largest Naval Air Stations at RNAS Culdrose.

The students from Cornwall College are all studying Level 2 Aeronautical Engineering, a specialist training qualification only available in the region at Cornwall College.

John Goodwin, Course Lead, Aero-Engineering, Cornwall College said, “We have a magnificent working relationship with companies like Babcock based at Culdrose and through these relationships we are able to offer our students enlightening and inspiring visits to place like this.

“It really opens the student’s eyes as to what careers are out there and gives them an opportunity to experience the workplace, meet prospective employers and of course see the aircraft”.

The visit was managed by Peter Wake, Engineering On Job Training Coordinator, UK Military Air Aviation,

Babcock International Group.

Peter added, “Meeting young people with a keen interest and desire to become aeronautical engineers is always a delight.  Cornwall College has a great reputation for developing initial skills and knowledge in this area and we have already taken on an apprentice as part of the relationship between the two organisations”.

John who spent over twenty five years in the Royal Air Force as an aircraft engineer on both fixed and rotary aircraft, has built a vibrant network of partners for students to progress onto, including military and civilian pathways.

“Giving our students the chance to come to places like this is essential in helping them choose the direction that interests them.  The presentation and talks that Babcock deliver showcases the business and breadth of work they could be involved in.

“This industry is growing and with the development of Newquay airport becoming the UK’s first spaceport, the need for fully trained aircraft engineers is greater than ever”.

Peter who has worked for Babcock with 736 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Culdrose for the last 2 years, following his thirty year military service, added, “Engaging with the students, presenting the type of work we do here and explaining the exciting developments that lie ahead is a pleasure and we realise that we need to look for competent engineers of the future.

“The Hawks that we currently maintain for both the Navy and Royal Air Force will, at some point, be replaced by more advanced aircraft and this provides a wide variety of career choices.  The majority of Babcock engineers currently at Culdrose have spent a lifetime working on aircraft and we hope that the next generation of engineers do the same”.

John concluded, “We are always enhancing our ties with all local aero-businesses, the spaceport and associated companies around the hub, to give our students the very best opportunity to experience the options available to them and also to boost their progress into industry.

“Having the benefit of owning our own jet aircraft based at Newquay, gives our students that practical element and together with academic lessons hosted by a former civilian jet pilot, we’re able to teach a wide variety of skills with which they can develop further into their chosen careers”.

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