This week the UK is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, and with this year’s theme focused on “Skills for Life,” it’s a great reminder that an apprenticeship can set you up for a life-long path of learning, development, and progression.
Lockheed Martin UK shares inspiring apprenticeship stories, and provides some advice on how those looking for an apprenticeship opportunity can secure a role with the global defence and security organisation. The business has operated in the UK for nearly 80 years. It has a number of sites across the country, including Bedfordshire, where it employs over 500 people.
It’s facility in Bedfordshire is an engineering centre of excellence, with over 20,000 sq ft of advanced manufacturing space. The company’s innovations and technologically advanced solutions help the UK overcome its most complex challenges and stay ahead of emerging threats, contributing to the UK’s defence, security and prosperity.
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, Lockheed Martin is committed to giving back to the local community through STEM outreach, working with local schools to inspire the next generation workforce to consider STEM related careers and the importance of STEM subjects.
The facility in Bedfordshire partners with locally based Bedford College to deliver the vocational learning and academic qualifications for some of its apprentices.
Debbie Houghton, Executive Director of Apprenticeships, Business Development & Commercial at The Bedford College Group said: “Providing an expertly trained workforce is crucial to the success of the region, government, regional partnerships, local authorities, employers, and businesses. Working with employers in the area, including Lockheed Martin allows us to offer even more opportunities for school leavers seeking T levels, Apprenticeships, or Higher-Level qualifications, such as Higher Technical Qualifications, Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.”
Inspiring Apprentice Stories… Road to Success via Apprenticeships
Lee Fellows, Vice President and Managing Director for Lockheed Martin UK’s Ampthill business, based in Bedfordshire, started his career as an Apprentice. As someone who has climbed the career ladder from apprentice to board room, Lee is a huge advocate and believer in apprentices.
“My apprenticeship cemented my early career - it grounded me and prepared me for future growth, enabling me to not only develop skills in engineering, but also in wider business practices too. I absolutely believe that I wouldn’t be Vice President and Managing Director of a business with over 500 people, without an apprenticeship start in my working life.”
“An apprenticeship is more than skills development. From a personal perspective, it helped me figure out what I wanted to do. The variety of roles I was able to undertake during my apprenticeship gave me a breadth of experience which I just wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. It also helped me to respect and appreciate the diversity of thought and approach.”
"In my view, at Lockheed Martin we offer one of the best Early Careers Programmes in the industry. We tailor the support that will help develop our young talent, upskill them and provide them with a personalised career,” said Lee.
Recruitment advice to those considering applying for an Apprenticeship
There are lots of different Apprenticeship opportunities out there, in a number of different industries, roles and levels. The key is finding the right apprenticeship for you.
Firstly, think about what is it that you want to do – is there an industry or company that you would really want to work in – what sort of ethics and values are you looking to be part of – do these align to your own values and ethics – and what sort of workplace culture do you want to be part of.
The sort of company you work for is really important. It contributes to your personal wellbeing, and your employee experience – it can be the differentiating factor between being happy at work or starting to dread going into your place of work.
Lisa, Early Careers Lead at Lockheed Martin UK, is responsible for growing and promoting the business’ Early Careers programme, which includes graduates, placement students and apprentices. Lisa is passionate about supporting the young cohort from both a personal and professional development perspective.
“Lockheed Martin has long fostered a positive, diverse, and inclusive culture. We have a top-down approach when it comes to workplace culture and employee well-being. We care about how our people feel when they’re at work. Employees are encouraged to have a voice, and help shape an environment where every single individual feels they can bring their whole selves to work,” said Lisa.
“Apprenticeships are really important to our organisation. They help to develop our future workforce and talent across the business, and they’re a great route to ensuring we continue to build and develop the skills to supports our customers needs, today and also in the future too.” continued Lisa.
Lisa shares some advice on what is good practice when applying for an apprenticeship role with Lockheed Martin, and the things you should consider doing to help you stand out from other applicants.
1. Applying for an Apprenticeship is no different to applying for any other job. Remember to take the time and effort to do some research on the company, understand what it is they do, and how you could potentially contribute to the organisation’s mission.
2. Apprenticeships are a competitive process. You could be up against hundreds of applications, so make sure you spend time completing the application, proof-read what you have written, and include a blend of your personality – it makes all the difference and can make your application stand out against others.
3. If you bag that interview, make sure you prepare well in advance – it really will pay off! Research the company and the role, think about how you would fit into the role, and what you would bring to the team. Practice by doing a mock interview, make sure you dress smart, and turn up on time – being late to an interview doesn’t looks good. Make sure you have some questions prepared that you would like to ask your prospective employer – it’s an opportunity for you to understand if the company is a good fit for you, as much as the employer deciding on whether you are a good fit for them. And lastly, make sure you get a good night’s sleep!
If you want to learn more about the Lockheed Martin Early Careers Programme, click through to the website here.
If you’re interested in becoming an apprentice at Lockheed Martin, keep an eye on their vacancies page – the next intake of apprentices are due to be recruited around August and September of this year.