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RAF Museum launches apprentiship scheme in London

RAF HendonAbove: Brendan O'Gorman (Apprentice), John O'Neill (RAF Museum Chief Tech), Peter Dye (Director General RAF Museum), David Byrne (Principal Barnet/Southgate) and Baljit Singh Badesha (Apprentice). Photo ©Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum.

The RAF Museum is proud to announce its London based apprenticeship scheme in conjunction with Barnet and Southgate College.

In 2005 The Royal Air Force Museum launched its apprentice scheme at the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre (MBCC) at its Midlands site, with a vision of preserving heritage aviation skills. The scheme ensures that apprentices are trained in subjects such as Heritage Aircraft Restoration, Aircraft Carpentry, Welding & Fabrication and Machine and Bench Fitting.

Since then, the scheme and its participants have gone from strength to strength, with local and national recognition and accolades and the MBCC is now listed as one of the country’s Top 100 Apprentice Employers in the UK.

Awards received have included the Apprentice of the Year; TCAT Student Achiever of the Year and ‘National Small Employer of the Year’ at the National Apprenticeship Awards. One lucky apprentice even met Her Majesty the Queen as part of the celebrations of the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further education 2007. Last month, Laura Pringle from the MBCC was selected as the ‘National Intermediate Apprentice of 2012’ at a ceremony in Birmingham

This year the Museum has expanded its apprentice scheme to London and in conjunction with Barnet and Southgate College has developed an apprenticeship programme, based around the various motor vehicle repair disciplines to provide a nationally recognised qualification accredited by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).

Also involved, is the Institute of Conservation (Icon) with the expectation that apprentices progressing beyond year one would be enrolled onto their assessment programme to become an Icon registered Conservation Technician.

In addition to Motor Vehicle expertise the apprentices will be expected to be able to work within many types of Museums as experienced and Qualified Conservation Technicians and potentially also seek work in a variety of contexts: historic houses, libraries and archives, conservation workshops in major institutions or commercial workshops.

Introducing our first two Apprentices:
Brendan O’Gorman (17) and Baljit Singh Badesha (22)
Our two new starters both live locally:  Brendan was a student of Finchley Catholic High School and is extremely active within the Finchley Sea Cadets where he is currently a Leading Cadet.  Baljit studied at The Ravenscroft School, Barnet; since leaving school Baljit has worked as a Pharmacy Dispenser and Health Care Advisor as well as undertaking local volunteering work.

David Byrne, Principal of Barnet and Southgate College said:
"Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to shape their future careers; they earn a wage while they learn technical skills on the job, and at the same time they gain a nationally recognised qualification. The scheme is also of huge benefit to employers, such as the RAF Museum, as it’s an ideal opportunity for them to bring productive, enthusiastic and loyal people into their organisation, and at the same time demonstrates their commitment to investing into their own industry.  We are proud to be associated with the RAF museum and look forward to a successful partnership. Barnet and Southgate College is one of the largest providers of apprentices in the UK, having delivered 1,900 Apprentice placements. The College offers apprenticeships in a diverse number of sectors including hairdressing, construction, catering, motor vehicles, accounting and business administration.”
Peter Dye, Director General Royal Air Force Museum
“It has always been our aspiration to expand the Apprentice scheme to our Museum site in NW London but there have been a number of challenges to overcome. Now, benefitting from a generous donation from a local benefactor and in collaboration with Barnet and Southgate College, we are ready to run these apprenticeships and I look forward to building on the success we have already achieved whilst making a valid contribution to the local community. Having been an engineer in the RAF myself, I can be sure that both Brendan and Baljit will learn a great deal and face many challenges in the security of a supportive environment.”

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