Bombardier’s London Biggin Hill service center is about two months into its first 36-month aircraft maintenance apprenticeship program that aims to create a pipeline of future maintenance techs and support the area’s economy, the Canadian airframer announced May 13. Through a combination of virtual classroom and on-site training, the 16 apprentices in the first class expect to earn EASA Part 66 modules (B license) certification and Level 4 City & Guilds Diploma in Aerospace and Aviation.
A collaboration between the service center and training and apprenticeships provider Seetec, the program is supported by KLM UK Engineering and the Department for Education. Graduates will have an opportunity to earn full-time positions at the service center upon completion of the program.
“Indispensable apprenticeship programs provide qualified students with an important pathway to an aerospace career—a powerful gateway to exciting, new opportunities,” said Bombardier executive v-p of services and support and corporate strategy Jean-Christophe Gallagher. “Our London Biggin Hill facility offers these students the best on-the-job training possible in a technologically advanced workplace environment—with the possibility for full-time employment at the facility upon graduation.”
Department for Education skills and apprenticeships minister Gillian Keegan noted apprenticeships like the one at the London Biggin Hill service center help to rebuild the economy by enhancing the workforce, boosting skills, and developing talent for the future. “It is great to see Bombardier’s continued investment in apprenticeships and its commitment to giving people the chance to train and launch fantastic careers,” Keegan said. “Bombardier’s innovative new program presents a brilliant opportunity for first-class training and superb future job prospects.”
Bombardier added that the program will help to provide technicians for an expansion of the London Biggin Hill site now underway, with completion expected next year. The project involves the construction of a new and larger facility encompassing nearly 250,000 sq ft and simultaneously accommodating up to 25 aircraft, including Bombardier's flagship Global 7500. The new service center will replace the existing facilities Bombardier has occupied since opening the Biggin Hill operation in 2017.