Luton apprentice shares his experiences with MPs

A Luton apprentice has been briefing MPs about his experiences.

By Lynn Hughes
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 11:47 am
Leonardo students outside the House of Commons
Leonardo students outside the House of Commons

Solomon McKiernan joined Leonardo apprentices from the aerospace engineering company’s sites across the UK at the Houses of Parliament to share their experiences of their apprenticeships.

The second year Luton Electronic Engineering Degree Apprentice attended St Thomas More Catholic Secondary School followed by Bedford College. At 20, he is now gaining on the job training at the Leonardo site in Capability Green while studying a degree at the University of Hertfordshire in his current apprenticeship at Leonardo.

After a tour of some of its most iconic chambers, including Westminster Hall, rebuilt after the Blitz by the architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the apprentices met MPs at a special reception hosted by trade organisation ADS (Aerospace, Defence Security & Space). Attendees also included over 100 Apprentices from across industry.

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Solomon said he appreciated having the chance to meet MPs face to face and to also speak directly to other apprentices at many other companies to compare notes on their different experiences of their respective apprenticeship schemes.

“It was really encouraging to see how invested and interested the MPs seemed to be in our apprenticeships and to get their take on it,” he said. “They wanted to learn how our apprenticeships benefitted us as individuals.

He added: “From their point of view, they shared with us why they thought apprenticeships contributed to industry in terms of economic growth, upskilling, and increasing employment in the area. You might not necessarily consider these things when you start out as an apprentice, but as you grow you understand more about how you fit into the bigger picture.”

Deborah Soley, Head of Apprenticeships UK who accompanied the apprentices on their trip to the Houses of Parliament said: “We have seen our apprentices really grab the opportunities we have offered them, whether through on the job training or representing our company at external events such as this visit. Despite the pandemic they continue to thrive as a population at our company and we can chart career paths to the most senior levels of our organisation from early starts within our apprenticeship programme.”