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We are looking to recruit four Apprentices to commence in September 2019: Electrical Engineering Apprentice; Design Engineering Apprentice and 2 Mechanical Craft Apprentices.

It is a competitive selection process, we look for the best candidates but for those who are successful, the opportunity to train on the job (and be paid while you learn) is hard to match.

Our apprentices and all our employees are based on one site, here in Manton Lane, Bedford with the initial training undertaken full time at a local college for the first three months. After this initial training, you will transfer back to the site to learn from our experienced engineers, and work towards an NVQ Level 3. Other required qualifications, such as technical certificates, are obtained through day release at a local college over the following 3-4 years.

Engineering Services Department
Engineering Services is responsible for servicing and maintaining all plant and equipment crucial to the site. This includes the Transonic Wind Tunnel, machines used in the manufacture of high precision engineered wind tunnel models together with more general site and building maintenance.

Electrical Engineering Apprentice (Ref 19/16)
Supporting this team, we are looking to recruit one apprentice with a view to undertaking an Electrical Engineering Apprenticeship. The successful candidate will follow a training syllabus to develop capabilities and skills required for the role. The training will be delivered on the job. Day release attendance at college on a weekly basis will form part of the training in support of studying towards a relevant City and Guilds Advanced Craft or BTEC National Diploma (ONC/OND and/or HNC) qualifications. Progressing from simple electrical systems (covering both single and three phase) to working on ARA’s High Voltage (large scale) electrical systems – covering both maintenance of existing plant and installation of new equipment.

Design & Manufacture Department (D&M)
The Design & Manufacture department is responsible for making high quality, bespoke wind tunnel models and rigs for testing in high speed wind tunnels. These enable our global Customers to obtain aerodynamic data, including forces, loads and pressures.
Each wind tunnel model is unique, designed and manufactured to extremely high tolerance standards (typically with permitted dimension deviations less than 1/10th of a human hair) and to challenging timescales (typically 3-4 months per project).
The Design Engineers use CATIA as the primary software suite for 2D and 3D Computer Aided Design, and the manufacturing resources include 3, 4 and 5 axis CNC milling and lathe machines, Electro Discharge Machining (EDM), as well as conventional machines such as manual lathes, jig borers and grinders. A highly dedicated team of skilled fitters carry out final hand working and fitting of parts (typically 150-200 per model) into sub-assemblies and the main assembly, which are inspected using a state of the art Coordinate Measurement Machine (CMM) and a Leica Optical Tracking Scanner.
Noting there is one opportunity in design and two in mechanical craft trades.

Design Engineering Apprentice (Ref 19/17)
The Design Engineering Apprenticeship is a fantastic opportunity to join a highly experienced team and become a qualified Design Engineer. During the apprenticeship candidates will have the opportunity to design high quality, bespoke components; gaining extensive practical and theoretical technical knowledge in the process. You will be involved in a myriad of designs and witness them being progressed into component form and fitment onto our wind tunnel model for subsequent testing. This will ultimately give you a deep understanding of all the products and services ARA offers.

Mechanical Craft Apprentices (Ref 19/20)
Our Mechanical Craft Apprenticeship Programme caters for those who are interested in the hands on elements of engineering. You will develop your skills from skilled fitters within D&M, surrounded by cutting edge technology. You will also learn how to manufacture model parts using a variety of machining methods to include Lathes, Milling machines, EDM (Electro Discharge machining), CNC Milling and also learn to assemble and disassemble bespoke, precision components within the required timescales and to the required quality standards. The ideal candidate will have attention to detail and a hunger for learning a broad spectrum of manufacturing and inspection techniques. On completion of each model project, all team members feel a high sense of pride in what they have achieved; the work is at the pinnacle of manufacturing within the aerospace industry.

During all the apprenticeships, and as part of ARA’s training syllabus, there will be an opportunity to spend time in different departments in order to broaden your experience and enhance your skills and understanding of the business.

Apprentice Entry Qualifications:
• At least 5 GCSE’s (or equivalent) at Grades 9 – 4 (equivalent to Grades A – C) including Mathematics, English and Science. Additional STEM related GCSEs at Grade 4 or above would be highly advantageous.

Other Requirements:
• Good communication skills, both verbal and written.
• Accurate with a good attention to detail and ability to multi-task and prioritise.
• Computer literate; good Microsoft office skill.
• Enthusiastic and self-motivated to learn new skills and apply that knowledge.
• Works well as part of a team.
• Ability to think logically and solve problems.
• Flexible attitude and approach, willing to go the extra mile.

The successful candidates must satisfy security clearance requirements. This will include at least 5 years’ continuous UK residency.

All apprenticeships have a starting salary of circa £13k together with a good benefits package, including 26 days holidays plus Bank Holidays.

To apply for any of the above apprenticeships please send a covering letter clearly stating which apprenticeship you are interested in together with your CV to

As part of your covering letter we would like you to include the following:
• Why you are interested in the particular Apprenticeship with us?
• What you would like to gain from your Apprenticeship?
• What makes you the right person for this Apprenticeship?

Closing date for applications: 31 May 2019. We expect to conduct interviews during the last two weeks of June.

Aircraft Research Association Limited is proud to be an Equal Opportunities Employer.