Decades of Experience

An experienced engineer working in the workshop.

British Airways employs people of all ages, from apprentices and recent graduates to those with lots of work history in a similar sector or a different one. Like most industries, knowledge in aviation can be garnered over years of hands-on employment. We actively seek those with the right attitude, knowledge and skills to learn from colleagues who have been at the heart of their trade for a number of years and can pass on their advice to our new colleagues.

Two recent recruits tell us about their experiences:

British Airways engineering apprentice Hannah Donohoe.Hannah Donohoe

I was about to study textiles and fashion at Plymouth University, but then I saw the British Airways apprenticeship scheme on the Internet. I thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity even though I hadn’t shown much interest in mechanics or engineering until then.

I support the engineers on the business administration side of things. I have a lot of planning to do when the aircraft come into the hangars for maintenance, including arranging shift patterns for the engineers.

In our apprenticeship we go round all the engineering departments. Engineering is so big and complex and yet it all fits together perfectly. I was on hand to help this year’s new apprentices, show them around and share a few secrets! It was so much fun, a complete flashback to my first day. We offer work experience too so I go into all the schools around Heathrow and do a big presentation. The pupils are buzzing about it afterwards.

One of my favourite departments so far was inventory management, where I had to talk to suppliers – big companies such as Rolls-Royce and Honeywell – dealing with orders for parts with a £5m budget.


Louis Furey

I joined British Airways after seeing the apprenticeship advertised through my college. I heard British Airways was a really good company to work for and the job sounded interesting, so I thought I’d apply and see how I got on.

As an apprentice I’m constantly learning new things and developing my skills. I’ve worked in about six or seven different departments now so it is really helping to develop my knowledge of the airline.

Having a diverse workforce at British Airways really helps me, as different ages see things from a different angle and have different skills. Since I’ve been at the airline everyone has seemed really happy and excited that young people are coming into the company, and are really willing to pass their skills on to the new generation.
There are so many different jobs to do at British Airways so I hope to have the opportunity to move around a bit and experience all different kinds of jobs.

Did you know?

  • Just under 10 per cent of our colleagues are aged under 30 with 60 per cent of all colleagues aged over 40 (Sept 2011). We ensure we attract new talent through our apprenticeship and graduate programmes as well as retain current talent and experience.
  • The British Airways Diversity & Inclusion team provide training, guidance, specialist advice and toolkits for managers to ensure that they remain up to date on discrimination law and understand how to apply it in the workplace.