William Taylor

26 February 2024
Systems Engineering Degree Apprentice

Meet William, a Systems Engineering Degree Apprentice at our Basildon site.

What is your current role?

I am a Systems Engineering Degree Apprentice.

Why did you decide to join Leonardo on the apprenticeship scheme?

When I left secondary school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I followed the path that was often presented to me – going to college to study subjects that I thought I would enjoy rather than subjects I had a proven track record with. After a year at college studying Politics, Law and Classical Civilisation, I had worked out that this was not for me and left to go to another college to study IT as I had always enjoyed tinkering with computers.

I didn’t terribly enjoy IT, but finished the course and while doing so discovered weight training and in particular, powerlifting. I became qualified as a personal trainer after college and started my own personal training business with a focus on strength training, as well as hosting novice powerlifting competitions. This was put to an end when the pandemic closed all the gyms, and I found it near impossible to keep my business going. Eventually I became a licensed door supervisor (bouncer) to make ends meet.

There came a point that I decided to right the mistake I made when I was 16 and go back to college to study a subject that I could turn into a fulfilling career. After two years studying aviation engineering at college, I applied to the systems engineering degree apprenticeship at Leonardo and am now finally in a career that I can confidently say that I want.

What does a typical day look like?

My typical day can change massively depending on what I am assisting on at that point; In the short time I have been with the company, I have attended discussion meetings, planned presentations, taken hardware apart to find problems, run equipment through test procedures and even created other pieces of hardware myself to assist with testing products.

What have been your greatest achievements at Leonardo?

While I have only been with the company for around five months at the time of writing, I feel the opportunities available outside of the core work is what I am most proud of. This includes helping out at STEM events, being part of the Tempest Early Careers Network and, most recently, being appointed the early careers representative for Leonardo’s employee-led Wellbeing network group.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about taking on an apprenticeship?

You do not have to join an apprenticeship straight from school. Even if I was given the option to go back to the age of 16 and study aviation engineering from the start, I wouldn’t turn the clock back. Every different experience I have had has helped me to gain skills that I will use throughout my career.

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.