Sean Calder

14 February 2024

Meet Sean, a Manufacturing Technical Apprentice at our Edinburgh site.

What is your current role?

My role within the company is a Manufacturing Technical Apprentice. 

What did you study at school?

At school, I studied Maths, English, Biology, Physical Education, Craft and Design, and Art. I was never fully sure what I wanted to do until I got to my last year of my time at school; I was thinking all the way through I wanted to go to university, but then I heard about the Leonardo apprenticeships available, so I went back and took a crash-course in Higher Physics. This was possibly the best decision I have made, as I have always loved and wanted to work out how things work but never realised that this was the pathway I wanted to venture until the opportunity presented itself. This is how I was able to get the apprenticeship that I wanted within Leonardo. 

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

One of the many reason that I choose this apprenticeship is that I live local to the company and always wondered what actually went on within the walls. Following this, many of my friends from school who were older got a job here and could not recommend it any more than they did. They would specify how many opportunities within the company there is, and the pathway for apprentices to further learning and on-the-job experience, which sounded amazing. I also had a family link to the site through my Grandad, who also started here as an apprentice when it was known as Ferranti. He explained how, even back then, the apprenticeship had set him up on good path for work and development.  

What does a typical week look like?

A typical week for me is always changing. There are so many different problems that I am faced with each day and week that makes the role that bit more interesting, which in turn always keeps me learning. The things I am working on are for the same product, but I am always faced with different issues with test equipment or the product itself which keeps me on my toes. 

I also have my college day, which is currently every Thursday at Edinburgh College on the Midlothian Campus. This is the time I get to go to my classes and study towards my Higher National Diploma (HND), which I will hopefully achieve at the end of my apprenticeship. I am also heavily involved within the STEM community within Leonardo, helping the team with anything that I am able to and encouraging other apprentices to get involved as well. It is a very rewarding job to inspire the younger generations about a possible future as an engineer, and explain what Leonardo can offer. 

What do you get up to outside of work?

Outside of work, I am a very sporty man. I enjoy going to the gym trying to keep myself fit and healthy. I feel like after a hard day at work some sort of exercise is good for your body and your mind to just ramp down and relax. Other than the gym, I train in Brazilian jiu-jitsu; I am addicted to it already, even though I only started a couple months ago! I love the respect, fitness, and social side that comes from the sport. 

What are your aspirations for the future?

Some of my aspirations for the future are to develop myself as a person and an engineer. I look forward to progressing my learning, hopefully going on to gain a degree, and then working my way up the framework set up within the company and hopefully becoming a senior test engineer or better. 

Would you recommend an apprenticeship, and why?

I would highly recommend an apprenticeship, especially one through Leonardo. The amount of life skills that I have learnt and work skills is unbelievable. This is through working on many different products and working within different teams on different contracts. This has given me confidence in myself and the work that I produce. The apprenticeship also allows you to gain an education while still being able to take home a yearly salary, which is one of the many benefits. 

One thing that Leonardo offers all apprentices is opportunity; I have found that if you want to be involved in extracurricular activities and show a keen and positive attitude, you can be involved. This creates a bigger network of fellow colleagues for you to ask and learn from. Overall I would highly recommend apprenticeships, especially at Leonardo.

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.