An apprentice from Llanrug is on the road to achieving his dream of becoming a fully qualified aeronautical engineer with Airbus. 

20-year-old Tomos Jones has always been captivated by physics and mechanics. After completing his A-levels at Ysgol Brynrefail alongside a BTEC Level 3 in Engineering at Coleg Menai, he knew he wanted to go on to do an apprenticeship at Airbus UK and was lucky enough to be successful.

Now almost two years on, Tomos is on his way to securing his Level 4 Aeronautical Apprenticeship qualification and fulfilling his goal of working as an engineer.

Tomos said “I think a passion for making things work must run through my veins as it’s been something I’ve been interested in since being a child. My dad works as a hydro-electric production engineer, so pursuing a career in engineering seemed like the natural choice for me.

When I was doing my BTEC Level 3 in engineering at College, we visited Airbus and were given a tour of the site. From the moment I set foot in the hangar and saw the wings being manufactured I was completely amazed by it. 

“We were given a talk on apprenticeships while we were there and that’s how I found out about the apprenticeship scheme and knew I wanted to apply.

“Since starting my apprenticeship in 2015, it has been an amazing learning experience and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. We have spent the last two years rotating around the different departments within the business learning about everything from design and quality to manufacturing and line-side support. It’s been incredible.

“I’d definitely recommend doing an apprenticeship. It’s been a brilliant way of gaining hands-on practical experience and kick-starting my career in a field I am passionate about.”

As well as the industrial experience gained from the apprenticeship, Tomos will also be required to complete a BEng degree in Aeronautical Engineering and Manufacture through Swansea University.

Kim Shallcross, Early Careers Manager at Airbus said “Tomos is a real natural when it comes to understanding engineering concepts and theories and is very good at applying what he has learned. He is also hard-working and passionate and I’m sure he has a bright future ahead of him in aeronautical engineering.

“As a business, we’re proud to be offering such a high-quality apprenticeship programme. We find it’s a most cost-effective and practical way of finding people who have a natural flair for STEM subjects and training them in the most current and relevant job specific skills and processes for our business.”

Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, said: “Tomos is just one example of someone who has a thriving career after securing an apprenticeship. It highlights just how valuable it is to gain practical, on the job experience and how it can provide them with all the skills and qualifications they need to have a rewarding and fruitful career. 

“Apprenticeships are a key investment for employers who can train their workforce in the specialist skills they need within their organisation. Overall, apprenticeships play an important role in increasing the nation’s overall skill set and driving economic growth, making sure that Wales remains competitive on the world stage.”