Edinburgh’s first aerospace engineering apprentices have graduated with highest honours

Heriot Watt University partnered with the Edinburgh-based aerospace engineering company Leonardo to train new apprentices in the Capital.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 4:45 pm

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The programme’s first cohort of software graduate apprentices have excelled in their degrees for Software Development for Business BSc (Hons) at Heriot-Watt University.Michael Coleman, Bradley Yates, Gavin Davis and Jamie Jack were the first to embark on a new software graduate apprenticeship offered by aerospace engineering company Leonardo based at Crewe Toll in Edinburgh. Even though they had never studied software engineering in the past the talented trainees have achieved outstanding academic achievement.

Michael Coleman, 22, Bradley Yates, 22, and Gavin Davis, 23, received firsts for their degrees while Jamie, 23, received a 2:1 for the course.

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Leonardo's first graduates.

Deborah Soley, head of apprenticeship management UK, said: “This was a first for us – so we could not be prouder of the way Michael, Bradley, Gavin and Jamie immersed themselves in their studies.

"To receive a first in a degree, you have to demonstrate exceptional command of your subject, showing you have not only mastered its concepts, but you can put them into practice with excellence.

"They have managed to do just that, against the odds presented by the pandemic and the fact that none of them were familiar with software to begin with makes their achievement even more striking.”

Speaking about their course success, Bradley Yates, who attended Inverurie Academy, said: “This was my first time working away from home as I grew up in Aberdeenshire. It feels great that the three of us have come out of it with a first. We were a bit anxious going into it as guinea pigs but it has worked out really well.”

Gavin Davis, 23, who studied at Knox Academy in Haddington, originally started working at Leonardo in 2015 as a technical apprentice, then transferred over to the graduate apprentice software scheme after taking an interest in software.

He said: “Once you have learned the basics of coding, those concepts are applicable to most programming languages. I enjoy coding as you can write the code, push a button and see if your idea works. The most exciting thing is when you realise you’ve solved a problem you’ve had for weeks by cracking the code - one day you just get it and it works.”

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