Meet Blake Oswick-Allen, a 17-year-old aviation ground operations apprentice from Reepham in Norfolk who works for private charter airline SaxonAir at Norwich International Airport.

Blake is currently undertaking the level 2 Aviation Ground Operative apprenticeship, working in a specialist role supporting the safe arrival, turnaround and departure of aircraft. We recently interviewed him to find out more about the apprenticeship with SaxonAir and his experience on programme so far.

What made you decide to apply for the apprenticeship?

“I had just finished a BTEC in Agricultural Engineering at college but didn’t really enjoy it. My cousin worked for SaxonAir and told me about the apprenticeship opportunity, so I decided to go in with him one day and take a look around.

“I loved the buzz of the airport and could really see myself working there. It was also a chance to start earning money while working towards a qualification. So, I applied for the apprenticeship and was offered a role starting in May this year.”

What does your day-to-day role involve?

“I have a number of different duties. These include checking in offshore passengers, loading aircraft and walking passengers off the aircraft. I particularly enjoy meeting and greeting our VIP passengers!

“I will also start to take on some administration tasks later in the apprenticeship, such as data capture and handling invoices.

“I’m always assigned time for my apprenticeship learning during the week – this isn’t a set time, it’s based around my workload and schedule, and could involve e-learning, job shadowing or meeting with my apprenticeship coach.”

Aviation Ground Operations Apprentice

What do you hope to gain from your apprenticeship?

“I love working at the airport, and provided I pass the apprenticeship there will be a permanent, full-time role for me at SaxonAir. There are also lots of opportunities to progress within the company – I could move onto a level 3 apprenticeship or gain an airfield driving licence, which opens up even more doors for the future.

“I would recommend the apprenticeship to anyone who’s thinking about a career in aviation. It’s a great way to learn on the job, and you’re building skills and experience that you wouldn’t get in college. It’s the best decision I’ve made!”

Find out more about apprenticeships in aviation here.