Cameron Court

14 February 2024
Design Engineering graduate apprentice

Meet Cameron, a Design Engineering graduate apprentice in his second year at our Edinburgh site.

What is your current role at Leonardo?

I am a Design Engineering graduate apprentice at Leonardo’s Edinburgh site. I’m in my second year of the programme, where we move around all of the engineering functions rotationally. My current placement is in Quality Assurance for the CIRCM (Common Infrared Countermeasure) project.

What did you study at school?

I went to school at Annan Academy in Dumfries and Galloway, where my main interests were STEM subjects and music. In my fifth year, I studied five Highers, those being; Maths, English, Physics, Chemistry and Music. I then chose to study Music, Physics and Chemistry at Advanced Higher level in my final year at school.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

When I left school and expressed interest in studying Engineering at University, a family member who worked in the engineering industry at the time recommended me to consider a Graduate Apprenticeship as an alternative. After looking into the programme that Leonardo and similar companies offer, I decided that a Graduate Apprenticeship was easily the best option for me, and that the skills gained through a combination of industry experience and university learning would be more valuable in the long run than a degree alone. Being debt-free when I finish my degree is also nice!

What does a typical day/week look like?

As part of my apprenticeship, I work three days per week (typically Monday – Wednesday), the majority of this work being on-site. The CIRCM team meets every morning at 09:00, and serves as a means of communicating daily goals and requirements between teams on the shop floor and the various engineering and business functions. This is where many daily tasks and actions are assigned to myself and other team members. 

My tasks consist of me working both in office space and on the shop floor, where one of my main responsibilities is dealing with defect materials, which involves me working with teams on the shop floor to disposition and then deal with these parts accordingly by raising re-work orders, return-to-vendors, etc. I like this as it gives me an opportunity to work in different areas and with many interesting people.

I spend Thursdays and Fridays studying, with work set by University through Strathclyde, mostly remotely. I can typically be found studying either at home or in Waterstones with a hot chocolate (which are very good). 

What do you get up to outside of work?

Outside of work, I like to make good use of the free Edinburgh Leisure membership that Leonardo offers, and often I can be found weight training at the gym. I’ve met some good friends through the gym, so it gives me not only physical benefits but social as well. I enjoy reading, and also playing music on my guitar - which I’m sure makes me very popular with my upstairs neighbours!

What are your aspirations for the future?

After my apprenticeship, I hope to continue to expand my knowledge of practical engineering solutions, and one day work my way up to Principal and then perhaps Lead Engineer level. Another option for me is seeking further education in business and moving into project management, where I think that my knowledge developed through engineering could be useful.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship, and why?

I would absolutely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone, especially if their interest is in STEM. I think that some knowledge can only be learned through doing – and an apprenticeship gives you so many opportunities to develop important skills through real-world industry experience. If you’re wondering if an apprenticeship is for you, I’d say go for it!

Our Apprenticeship Opportunities

Our Apprenticeship Opportunities

Our highly-regarded apprenticeship programmes – covering hardware and software engineering, business and cyber security – offer intensive training programme lasting 2-4 years, which results in apprentices graduating with a substantial depth of skills in their specialist area.