New Apprentices Join Conservation Centre

New Apprentices at Conservation Centre

New recruits are taking their first step on the career ladder as apprentices at The Michael Beetham Conservation Centre (MBCC) at Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.

The new recruits will join the museum’s growing conservation team and multi award winning apprenticeship scheme, which is run in partnership with City of Wolverhampton College.

Adam Ellis, aged 18, from Wolverhampton, Joshua Sault,17, from Brownhills and Maddie Whiting, 17, from Bewdley recently joined the team which now has a total of six apprentices.

After starting their three year apprenticeship with the museum in September, all three apprentices are settling into the new working environment and have been partnered with a senior apprentice who offers guidance and support. After only a few weeks in the new job Adam, Joshua and Maddie have already been busy working on test pieces of sheet metal, assessing their ability to achieve precision and accuracy whilst using various hand tools and materials. They are combining their work with studying modern fabrication and welding techniques at college.

Maddie said: “Since the age of ten I have always wanted to be an engineer and having spent several years in the RGS Worcester Cadets, I developed a fondness for the Armed Forces.  I started looking into apprenticeships as way into this career path and found a lot were standard factory based schemes.  When I saw the vacancy at the RAF Museum, I jumped at the chance and applied. I am thrilled to be given such a unique opportunity to work with historical aircraft and long term I hope to pursue a career within the Royal Air Force as an engineer.”

Joshua Sault said: “I am a huge aviation fan! I am a member of a flying club and was in 1444 Brownhills Squadron Air Cadets for 4 ½ years and I regularly visited the RAF Museum Cosford as a child. I attended the Conservation Centre Open Week two years ago with my Cadet group and the Conservation Centre Manager spoke to us about the current projects, in particular the Handley Page Hampden.  This really sparked my interest in becoming an aircraft engineer and now I’m actually working here I feel like I’m living the dream! The progress on the Hampden in the last two years is amazing and I can’t wait to start contributing to the project.”

Adam added: “I took a construction course at school and have twelve months experience as a carpenter, but engineering is what I would like to pursue. I used to visit the RAF Museum Cosford as a child and when the opportunity came up for an engineering role based here, I took it. I hope that the skills I learn at the Museum will broaden my horizons for future employment.”

The RAF Museum apprentices undertake all their hands-on heritage skills training in-house at the Museum’s Conservation Centre, where they each work side by side with a Master Craftsman who mentors them through their daily tasks.  Many of the aircraft within the museum’s collection are sole survivors and supporting documentation and procedures don’t exist.  Museum apprentices are encouraged to use their own initiative to develop, in consultation with their mentor, novel ways around complex and unusual engineering issues. Like those before them Adam, Joshua and Maddie will work on a wide variety of aircraft during their apprenticeship and will each be given a specialist project which may include some work on the long term restoration and conservation of the Museum’s Vickers Wellington and Handley Page Hampden Bombers.

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