Further Opportunities

The aerospace companies involved in the Flying Start Challenge all offer young individuals opportunities for early careers. If you are a student and enjoyed competing in the challenge with an interest in engineering, please see below information on what our companies can offer you.

Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services employing around 134,000 people around the world.  We are structured into three sectors, commercial aircraft, helicopters, defence and space. Airbus consistently captures approximately half of all commercial airliner orders, making an Airbus aircraft take off or land every 2.3 seconds somewhere in the world.  We are also Europe’s number one defence and space enterprise and the second largest space business in the world.

Graduate Schemes

  • Two Year Graduate schemes in Engineering, Supply Management, Digital, Manufacturing, Cyber, Information Management, Customer Services and Support, Programmes, Project Management, Human Resources, and Marketing. Three Year Graduate Scheme in Finance.


  • Engineering Degree Apprenticeship – can work towards a BEng Hons in Aerospace Engineering.
  • Digital & Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship – can work towards a BSc Hons Digital and Technical Solutions
  • Business Apprenticeship – can lead onto a BA Hons Leadership and Management
  • Finance Apprenticeship – can lead onto a degree equivalent professional accreditation with CIMA

Craft Apprenticeships

  • Aero Structures
  • Machining
  • Aero Systems
  • Plant Service Centre


  • Work experience programme
  • Undergraduate internships

Leonardo Careers

Leonardo employs around 7,000 people throughout the UK, 67% of whom hold highly skilled positions. We are one of the largest employers of engineering apprentices and graduates in the UK, with more than 400 people on undergraduate, graduate and apprentice training programmes.

In the UK, Leonardo spends around £3.5 million on employee training and development annually, providing young people with the opportunity to gain qualifications through on-the-job training, whilst simultaneously undertaking academic study.

Leonardo’s growing footprint offers real depth of capability; with more than 45,000 employees worldwide, we have the global resources to deliver. By instilling the importance of engineering in younger generations, we nurture the talent of tomorrow and help guarantee our future business prosperity.



Leonardo is a large employer of engineering, manufacturing, business and cyber apprentices in the UK, with over 400 graduates and apprentices in training at different facilities across the country.

Entrants to the programme, typically aged 16-19 on joining, undertake an intensive training programme lasting two, three or four years, depending upon the scheme, which results in their graduating with a substantial depth of skills in the area in which they have specialised. The programmes consist of both academic “off-the-job” and structured “on-the-job” learning.

Graduate Schemes

Each year we seek to recruit enthusiastic people who are willing to drive change and innovate. All our opportunities for undergraduates provide practical experience and development in a supportive environment.

Our two-year graduate training programmes have been designed to support your first steps after leaving university and to help you develop your career. Through a comprehensive induction programme, you will have the chance to gain a complete picture of the organisation and be involved in real challenges from day one. You will have the opportunity to learn from colleagues who are experts in their field, while always being encouraged to use your initiative.


At Leonardo, we have long believed that offering placements and work experience is invaluable to employers and students, enabling them to understand the full diversity of a career in STEM.

Undertaking a UK placement with Leonardo can open up your horizons to the diverse and dynamic ways in which your studies can be used within the global high-tech company. Leonardo offers the following placement opportunities:

  • Work experience
  • Summer Internships
  • Industrial Internships
  • Placements in partnership with EDT as Year In Industry (YINI)
MBDA is a world leader in missiles and missile systems. We are a multi-national company made up of over 10,000 employees working across the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the US. We are the first truly integrated European defence company; supplying all branches of the armed forces. We were ranked 12th in The Sunday Times Best Big Companies to Work For in 2017.

Training Schemes

  • Week long work experience placements for years 9, 10 and 11 in Bristol, Bolton and Stevenage
  • Nuffield research placement schemes for year 12 via SETPOINT
  • Various award-winning engineering apprenticeships
  • Engineering-sponsored degrees within Mechanical engineering
  • Summer placements for University students
  • Undergraduate year-long placements
  • Two year graduate programme

We are one of the world’s leading producers of aero engines for large civil aircraft and corporate jets. We are the second largest provider of defence aero engines in the world. Rolls-Royce is well established in the marine sector where we design vessels and integrate power systems. We have a growing presence in civil nuclear power, drawing on our skills and experience of over 50 years in powering nuclear submarines. Our MTU brand is world-renowned in high-speed diesel engines powering applications as diverse as rail locomotives and luxury yachts.
We support our customers through a worldwide network of offices, manufacturing and service facilities.

Rolls-Royce offers a wide range of opportunities across company. Joining Rolls-Royce means you could be working on awe-inspiring innovative projects, driving business-critical initiatives and learning from world-class professionals. Wherever you choose to hone your knowledge and develop expertise, you’ll be part of a company with a future every bit as exciting as its history. For more information on any of the schemes listed below, please see the Rolls-Royce Careers Website.


  • Apprenticeships – GCSE Level or Equivalent
    • Practical Apprenticeships
    • Technical Apprenticeships
  • Apprenticeships – A Level or Equivalent
    • Degree level apprenticeships from Engineering to Commercial; Management Accountancy to Project Management


  • Internships
    • 6 to 12 month Internship placements across the business
    • 10-12 week Internship placement
  • Graduate Scheme
    • 18 – 30 month Graduate Programmes across the business from Engineering to Customer & Services Management; Procurement to Human Resources.
  • Work Experience
    • Practical and Technical Week long experiences across the business
Safran Landing Systems is the world leader in aircraft landing and braking systems. Company capabilities encompass the full life cycle of our products, ranging from design and manufacture to in-service support, repair and overhaul. Safran Landing Systems is a partner to 30 leading commercial, military, business and regional airframers, and supports more than 27,000 aircraft making over 54,000 landings every day. The company employs more than 7,000 staff working in locations across Europe, North America and Asia.


Our scheme involves academic or professional study, job specific, technical and soft skills training and number of placements within the organisation. We offer advanced and higher apprenticeships typically in the following areas;

  • Fitting, Machining
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Processing (NDT, Surface Finishes)
  • Facilities (Mechanical/Electrical)
  • Finance and Purchasing

Graduate Schemes

  • Graduate scheme – our 2 year rotational programme includes multiple rotations at one of our UK sites, as well as both a national and international placement.
    • All Engineering Disciplines
    • Supply Chain
    • Program Management
    • Human Resources


  • Internships – from 5 weeks duration to a year placement, paid internships are available on a business-need basis only, and typically in the following areas:
    • Engineering
    • Materials & Processes
    • Purchasing
    • Finance
    • IS
  • Work experience – school students can experience a week’s placement, within one business area.