YOUNG VOICES

How One Engineering Apprentice Swapped Jobs With Minister Matthew Hancock

01/01/2014 07:29 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 21:01 GMT

Throughout the year CEOs and senior directors across the country have swapped jobs with apprentices to learn about the real value and impact of Apprenticeships.

Jenny Westworth from BAE Systems swapped jobs with Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock, giving him a chance to experience ‘a day in the life’ of an Aerospace Engineering Apprenticeship with BAE Systems that led Jenny to win Apprentice Champion of the Year.

Jenny hosted Mr Hancock at BAE Systems’ Eurofighter Typhoon Aircraft Final Assembly facility site in Warton, Lancashire, where they visited the production line and shadowed other BAE Systems apprentices working on final aircraft build.

Jenny, who now works in BAE Systems’ Military Air & Information business in Warton, Lancashire, said: “I’m proud to show the Minister what I have achieved at BAE Systems and what opportunities I and many other apprentices are offered.

“My Apprenticeship was the best possible career choice I could have made and being Apprenticeship Champion of the Year has been an honour. Throughout the year I’ve spoken at countless events, met senior politicians and used my award to ensure as many young people as possible realise what a positive choice becoming an apprentice is.”

The Minister also toured BAE Systems’ apprentice training facility in Preston, learnt about aircraft fitting, conventional and CNC machining, computer aided design and avionic testing of an aircraft in production.

In return, the Minister hosted Jenny at the House of Commons and invited her to

Ministerial meetings at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), while Jenny also took part in a Parliamentary debate.

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock, said:

“This job swap gave me a taste of life as an apprentice, which I loved! It highlighted just how much young people are benefiting from earning while they learn in a real job, as well as the huge benefits Apprenticeships bring to employers.

“Jenny has been a superb Apprenticeship Champion. She is an inspiration and an example to other young people.

“We want to make it the norm for young people to either go to university or do an Apprenticeship, and competitions like the Apprenticeship Champion of the Year, which showcase the best of Apprenticeships, help make that a reality.”

Jenny, who won the 2012 search for the Apprenticeship Champion of the Year, which is part of the prestigious annual National Apprenticeship Awards, handed over her title to former apprentice Chloe Gailes from Barclays this November following a public vote.

The video featuring Jenny and the Minister is the latest in a series of job swap films available on apprentice.tv that also feature Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Pendennis Shipyards. The films give an insight into a day in the life of a range of Apprenticeships.