Lewis Foster

14 February 2024

Meet Lewis, a Design Engineering graduate apprentice at our Edinburgh site.

What is your current role?

I am in the second year of my apprenticeship and I am currently working in Project Assurance for the Typhoon Captor E radar. Due to the structure of the Design Engineering Graduate Apprentice scheme at Leonardo, I have encountered a wide range of engineering disciplines. So far, I have covered Test Systems, Manufacturing, Hardware, Mechanical and Systems engineering - gaining valuable skills and experiences throughout each of the three-month placements. 

What did you study at school?

I studied Maths, English, Accounting, Business Management and PE at higher level in my fifth year. Then, in my sixth year, I decided to focus my career towards engineering and studied Physics and Engineering Science again at higher level alongside two sport-related classes.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

Despite having five different offers from universities for engineering related courses, the opportunity to learn on the job at a company as reputable as Leonardo was the standout option. An apprenticeship was always something that appealed to me; I understood the value of work experience on top of a degree, and an apprenticeship is the perfect balance for this. The Graduate Apprentice scheme at Leonardo in my opinion is one of the best available in this industry - the structure allows us to experience different areas of engineering and subsequently decide where our future in engineering belongs.

What does a typical week look like?

A typical week for me is working onsite Monday to Wednesday, followed by time at university on Thursday and Friday. My day begins at 7.30am; I spend the first part of the morning planning my day and getting an understanding of what work is required. 

Work differs between placements; in my current Project Assurance placement, I have been working on various things in different environments. I spent the first five weeks in the Manufacturing Hall working on Operations-related tasks such as Scrap Material, Material Review Boards, and Production Permits. I will now spend five weeks in the office where I will be working on things more closely aligned to the project. 

What do you get up to outside of work?

Outside of work, I like to stay active: I play football three times per week and go to the gym. It is important to have a good work-life balance, especially during the apprenticeship as there are times where workload is high, so being able to switch off and focus on yourself is important for success.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I aim to continue the path I am currently on within the apprenticeship, performing strongly in both work and university. I will soon be making my final placement choice and this is something I look forward too. Once I am on my final placement, I hope to give a good account of myself and begin making positive steps within my team. I want to perform to the best of my ability at university - giving myself a strong platform for career progression at Leonardo.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship, and why?

100%. I think an apprenticeship is the perfect option for further education. As mentioned, the balance between learning and work experience gives an excellent foundation for a career. Leonardo offers a range of apprenticeship and I would strongly encourage people to explore the available options.

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.