Ben is an Operations Manager, based in Samlesbury.
‘I started my career on my 16th birthday and have been with the company for 25 years. I had always wanted an engineering apprenticeship but had never heard of the company until my Dad suggested I should apply for an apprenticeship at British Aerospace.
Early in my career, I was involved in the final assembly of some of the first Typhoon jets out of Warton. Over the years I have gained the experience and have been given the opportunity to rise to a senior management position. I enjoy working with the products and the people. Today, I am involved in running the 3B Machine Shop at Samlesbury that makes a large number of the airframe component for the Typhoon jet. It has been great to be involved in all aspects, from the completed flying jet to the smallest parts and brackets over the years.
The company have given me plenty of opportunities to progress with them, which is why it has been easy to spend my entire career to date with them. I have worked in Italy a few times throughout my career and have taken advantage of the training and progression that the company offers.
From starting as a young boy, I am now married and have four children. I have the flexibility to work from home when I need to, although I am primarily on-site, as my role requires me to meet hands-on deliverables most of the time. In fact, my proudest day was on-site, bringing my 14-year-old daughter and being able to show her the work I do.
I work on a nice site with great facilities a canteen, a health centre, dentist and physiotherapist, so we are well cared for. I feel I have generally been supported by the company and managers throughout my career.
I have made many friends in the company over the years, and it is great to see the work being done to make the organisation more diverse and inclusive. The company has changed a lot in this respect over the 25 years since I started and is much better from a diversity and inclusion point of view. The environment has a close-knit team which is split between male and female employees, so pretty diverse, with each team member able to bring their own strengths.
From an apprentice and graduate point of view, when you look at the training school, the Academy for Skills and Knowledge at Samlesbury, it’s space age when I think back to my strand road days during my apprenticeship. There’s a Hawk jet in ASK, a virtual reality cave and the facility is very modem and open plan, it’s a really great learning environment for those starting their careers.’

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