National Apprenticeship Week 2021: Iona’s Story

Published 10 February 2021

Hear from Iona, a former Engineering Advanced Apprentice, about her reasons for joining our apprenticeship scheme, and how it propelled her into a full-time role

Share this story

A passion for engineering and hands-on learning was what led Iona Williams to a DE&S apprenticeship.

And, having completed her three-year advanced engineering scheme in September, she is now a corrosion engineer in Naval Ships Support.

It’s a career route the 23-year-old from Kingswood, South Gloucestershire, would thoroughly recommend.

“I chose to be an apprentice at DE&S because I was at college doing an engineering course and I kind of wanted to continue that,” she said.

“I didn’t want to go to university, so I applied for a DE&S apprenticeship and saw they had lots of different domains and quite a variety of stuff for me to get involved with.

“There’s definitely lots of chances to progress, within my team and within DE&S”

“Since leaving the apprenticeship and regrading in September, I have become a level one engineer and one of the job roles I have taken on is managing the Warpaint publication document, which is used as the main acceptance document for paints that are approved for Royal Navy vessels.”

Iona is reminded of her proudest moment as a DE&S apprentice every time she looks up at the metallic object on the shelf above her home work station.

She explained: “When I was in college, I had free time after completing my assessment piece, so I actually made a cannon.

“I engraved my name on the side. It moves as well, so I’d definitely say this has to be my proudest moment.”

The flexibility of career progression and how DE&S employees do their jobs have been big plusses in her fledgling career.

“You can choose what domain you want to be in, and you can go to different domains as well,” she added. “Also, at the end of it, you leave with a Level 4 HNC and a Level 3 BTEC.

“It is quite good education wise and for you to be able to choose where you want to regrade, whether it be ships or land or air, it’s great if you want a career path in DE&S. There’s definitely lots of chances to progress, within my team and within DE&S.

“The flexible working is a great benefit and the opportunity to travel, not to be stuck at home or in the office.”

Infographic showing stats about our apprentices, while two young people smile in an office

More recent DE&S news and community outreach

DE&S News & Community Outreach
By |2022-10-11T16:04:30+01:00February 10th, 2021|
Go to Top