An enterprising programme backed by engineering development trust is matching top students with potential aerospace employers
UK aerospace companies are gaining a step in recruiting the country's top new talent by giving potential employees a chance to work at the cutting edge before taking their qualifications. Rolls-Royce, Goodrich, Martin-Baker, Qinetiq, Smiths Group and Goodrich Aeronautical Systems are among those benefiting under The Year in Industry (YINI) scheme.
A national non-profit programme set up in 1986 and administered by the Engineering Development Trust, YINI is designed to bring together the UK's brightest students with the companies that will ultimately benefit from their talent and training. To date it has placed more than 8,000 students, the majority of them in technical and scientific positions.
YINI finds degree-relevant paid work in a wide range of disciplines for students registering with it. Their 12-month contracts, at salaries of £8,000-14,000 ($15,300-26,800), are often used by companies for tackling specific problems and projects. Typically, 80% of those who participate in YINI go on to graduate with first or upper second class degrees.
"It's a great opportunity for companies to gain a highly cost-effective, motivated and talented workforce and early access to potential trained graduate recruits," says national director Roy Bromley.
One of 600 students placed last year was Sally Longstaff from Stafford, who spent her gap year at Martin-Baker Aircraft, where she worked on a study that will influence the design of the company's ejection systems. She reviewed and analysed volumes of historical data to produce a detailed report identifying areas in which development was needed.
Kevin Hawkins, systems engineering department manager at Martin-Baker, says the database Sally created "will undoubtedly have lasting value" and will be used to support further studies.
Undergraduate Tim Mulrenan from Gloucestershire, now studying electrical and electronic engineering at University of Birmingham, says his work experience at Aerosystems International in Malvern helped him gain new skills, particularly in system testing, as he worked on a project to create a realistic warfighting training system for military pilots.
So successful has YINI been that increasingly companies are incorporating it into their own graduate recruitment strategy. One of these is Qinetiq, whose graduate marketing manager Miranda Davies says the YINI initiative provides an "ideal opportunity for us to access these potential graduate recruits before they enter university".
The scheme has been awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering's mark of excellence under its "Best" education programme. For more information visit www.yini.org.uk
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Source: Flight International