BAE Systems (Maritime Services)

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As part of Lucy Kirkby’s Engineering Higher Apprenticeship, she was in a work placement which was supporting HMS Victory’s Hull Support System Replacement project. She played a key role in the project as it neared completion which included a range of engineering problems and solutions, overseeing cradle removals, stakeholder management and surveying activities whilst also continuing progress through her apprenticeship qualifications.  

Lucy Kirkby is an Engineering Higher Apprentice employed within the Maritime sector of BAE Systems. Her apprenticeship is a 4 year long scheme where she works towards achieving a Level 4 NVQ workplace engineering qualification, a HNC and a HND in Mechanical Engineering. During the course of the scheme she spends time in a range of business areas gaining exposure to a range of engineering environment

Habibur Rahman/ Portsmouth News

A role was established in direct support of the unique HMS Victory Hull Support System Replacement project. As one of Lucy’s apprentice placements it demanded a lot in terms of taking ownership and accountability of high profile engineering problems and solutions with the potential to significantly impact the organisation’s reputation, even under normal working conditions.

Operating within the confines of Portsmouth Naval Base and with no public visitation the project was allowed to continue which was directly supported on site by Lucy. She continued to support the project even committing to be on site full-time in the secluded office during the virus, regularly picking up early and late shifts to oversee Cradle Removal, Lifting Activities and conduct much needed surveying activities that progressed defect resolution to maintain the delivery programme.

The project is now gearing up to formally handover after completing the final sections of cradle and concrete removal under Lucy’s watch on site. An enormous bonus to the customer (National Museum of the Royal Navy) is that BAE Systems managed to deliver the project to allow the museum to open the attraction at the earliest possible opportunity, following COVID19. The news of the attractions opening and success of the project was featured in articles in the Daily Mail, BBC, The Times, INews etc. even a dedicated article in Portsmouth News about Lucy’s role as an apprentice on the unique project.

Via the project, Lucy has greatly benefitted from the BAE Systems apprenticeship by working with a range of multidisciplinary professionals. She has improved her awareness of Health and Safety protocols and procedures undertaking necessary reviews in light of COVID19. She has improved her communication and confidence, engaging strongly with members of the customer and contractors teams ensuring site operations continue smoothly.

Alongside the placement activity Lucy also continued to attend college on day release completing her Mechanical Engineering HND. During the Covid-19 situation when all educational establishments closed the partner college quickly moved to a virtual solution which saw Lucy maintain attendance at college through virtual lessons and delivery. Coupled with the challenges she was facing with the workplace at this time it has been extremely pleasing to how Lucy has managed both elements and will stand her in good stead for her future engineering career.