Engineering Degree Apprenticeship working on aircraft

Building a Career as an Engineer: William’s Journey with GKN Aerospace


Have you ever considered pursuing a career in Engineering but feel a classroom is not the best place for you? Or perhaps you’d like to earn while you study?  

Here at University Centre Weston we offer just that! With our Engineering Degree Apprenticeship you have the chance to take control of your career. If you want to establish your network and learn in a real working environment, a Degree Apprenticeship is for you!  

Recently we caught up with UCW’s very own GKN Aerospace Apprentice, William, who told us his “work ethic and time management has definitely improved” through pursuing his Aerospace Engineering Apprenticeship.  

Engineer Apprentice wearing uniform at work

GKN Aerospace is a highly prestigious international engineering firm, with locations based in Bristol, London and Portsmouth. According to their website, “GKN Aerospace technologies have inspired and industrialized the aerospace industry, combining engineering excellence and technology leadership.” 

Working with this industry giant is a phenomenal opportunity for an apprentice! Here at UCW, we recognise how William’s unrivalled dedication and hard work with GKN Aerospace will boost his engineering career. 

To help prospective learners and apprentices, we asked William a series of questions:

My involvement in a company early on has given me an insight into the operations of a real business. I can now use this knowledge and experience to be even more qualified than university students when applying for an aerospace engineering role or trying to move up the company.
Coming from a BTEC background, I had to undertake a lot of intensive study in order to catch up with A-level maths which was difficult with my low comprehension speed. I Overcame this by reading and playing short cognitive mental games so that when I studied or did work, I could focus more, think quicker, and be a lot more efficient and productive with my work. Time management also helped.
Very helpful and engaging with the subjects, especially with Andreas who spends a significant amount of time and effort helping students, even during his own time and breaks.
Its multitude of facilities such as machine shop, aeronautical fabrication workshop, composites lab, welding bay, and CAD software in many cases will prove to be more useful in your career than a lot of the degree work, even when working in the offices.


William rounds the Q&A off with some words of wisdom and advice: “as a new starter in a company, the best way to gain recognition is to be proactive with finding work to do, asking lots of questions and maintain a strong work ethic.” 

We hope William’s outstanding achievements will inspire the next cohorts of budding Engineer Degree Apprenticeships – thank you William! 

If you’re interested in learning more about our industry-standard Engineering Degree Apprenticeships available with UCW, click here. 

If you would like to find out what other Engineering and Construction pathways are possible with UCW, click here.  

To find out even more, meet the staff and take a look at the spectacular facilities, why not book onto our Open Day and get a real feel for life at UCW? Taking place on Saturday 15th October, our Open Day is a fantastic opportunity to start your journey in engineering, or whatever pathway you choose!