Stansted Airport College student Richie Ketley secures Boeing apprenticeship
A student from Stansted Airport College is one of just 20 in the country to win an apprenticeship with the world's largest aerospace company.
Richie Ketley, 18, was studying a Level 3 aeronautical engineering course when he decided to apply to Boeing, not realising he was up against around 1,000 other hopefuls.
Buoyed by his experience at the college and encouraged by his tutors, he sent off his CV and was invited to attend an engagement day in Boeing's Bristol training centre, where he took part in a hands-on skills test and a group presentation.
After a nail-biting wait, he was invited to the next stage and, after an informal interview, was offered a place on Boeing's aircraft maintenance apprenticeship, with a ringing endorsement of his interview skills.
"They told me they saw something in me about the way I engage with people that they didn't see in anyone else, and encouraged me never to lose that skill even if I wasn't successful," said Richie.
The three-year apprenticeship at the International Centre for Aviation Training (ICAT) in Cardiff starts in September.
It will include on-the-job training at one of Boeing's specialist centres, which include MoD Boscombe Down in Wiltshire, RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, RAF Lossiemouth in north-east Scotland and Gatwick Airport.
Richie, from Colchester, said: "They told us on the engagement day they have a 100% completion rate for the apprenticeship and they always keep people on afterwards, so that's a fantastic incentive knowing there's a guaranteed job at the end of the three years.
"I've always wanted to be around aeroplanes, to work on them and maybe even fly them one day. I'm so grateful to Stansted Airport College for giving me this opportunity and I would definitely recommend the engineering course. You will learn so many transferable skills that you can take anywhere. It opens up so many opportunities, so just go for it."
Victoria Clayden Smith, head of centre at Stansted Airport College, hailed Richie's achievement. "It's fabulous to see another of our engineering students achieve success by becoming an apprentice at Boeing," she said. "Well done, Richie, and lucky Boeing for employing such a passionate, diligent and capable trainee."