I'd like that job: BAE Systems manufacturing engineer

She plays ice hockey for England; she was highly commended in this year's Apprenticeship Awards. Oh, and she helps build fighter planes. Find out what it's like being Philippa Wilson...

What’s your name? 

Philippa Wilson

And your age?


Who do you work for?

BAE Systems, an aerospace manufacturing company who currently build the Eurofighter Typhoon and JSF Lightning II.

What’s your job title? 

Manufacturing Engineer

How long have you been doing that, then? 

One year

How did you get there? 

I did my apprenticeship after completing 4 A levels at college. It was an advanced apprenticeship in engineering, completing an NVQ Level 3 in Engineering Technical Support.

What’s a typical day like?

At the moment, I’m working as a process developer within the non conformances team on the JSF Lightning II Project. That means I look at the processes of reporting errors made during production and try and make it quicker. A typical day consists of working closely with the supervisors on the shop floor, looking at common faults that occur during the build and trying to come up with new and innovative ways to report them.

What are the people you work with like?

In my job I work with a vast number of different people every day. They are all in different job roles but they are always helpful and willing to offer any help that you require.

What’s the best thing about the job?

The best thing about the job is working so close to the actual aircraft as it starts its life.

Much travel involved? 

The JSF Lightning II project is an American project so there is always the chance of travelling to America or Canada; something I would like to do.

What do you think you’ll do next? 

At the moment, I am gaining experience and knowledge of the build and would like to continue to do that before gaining more responsibility working on build support; supporting the aircraft as it makes its way along the build line.

Was there anything you’d have done differently in your career so far? 

Nothing at all. I have had so many opportunities and experiences that have benefited me and worked hard in everything that I have done so it’s nice to be recognised at events such as the National Apprenticeship Awards.

What’s your favourite TV programme? 

I have a few; The Unit, ER and Life on Mars

Favourite game? 

Medal of Honour PS3

Top nosh: 

Pasta bake

Top song: 

Juke Box Hero

Top three things I like doing when I’m not being an engineer:

1) Play ice hockey (I represented England for the last two years)

2) Watch TV

3) Chill out with friends

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