High flyers in technology

Thursday 9 January 2020

Two students at Bedford College have been given a flying start in careers in technology.

Samuel Frankl and James Shelford studied Level 3 Electronic Engineering at Bedford College. Samuel had plans to go on to University in the Netherlands and James, who always had an interest in the military had no idea he could sign up in a civilian role – until the college received a visit from the Ministry of Defence. 

Stuart Albert, a member of the civilian Engineering Ops Team based at RAF Henlow, was tasked with a recruitment drive to seek out new talent and was invited to talk to the Bedford College Engineering students. 

Samuel and James were so impressed they applied for and won new roles as Network Design Engineers.

Sam started his new job on 16 December 2019 and James this year on 6 January 2020. Once fully trained the pair will be able to work from locations across the world. As civilians the posts are not ‘front-line’ but they will provide a rapid specialist engineering support service to all three military services.

Group Captain Darren Thorley is Deputy Head of the department overseeing Engineering Operations:

“This is a new recruitment approach for us, seeking out new talent locally in addition to our national apprentice scheme. James and Samuel will each have a training plan created for them, allowing them to continue their studies whilst learning on the job.

Once they have gained security clearance they will be working with the very latest communications and cyber security technology and, if they wish, will be able to take opportunities to deploy to Military bases and Embassies all over the globe to carry out engineering tasks.”

The partnership with Bedford College has been so successful the Engineering Ops team plan to return next year, looking for more potential recruits. 

Director of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) Jo Baxter at The Bedford College Group said:

“This a tremendous opportunity for us to introduce students to exciting careers in the forefront of technology. We look forward to developing this relationship further for the benefit of young people.”

james and samuel

Picture shows: James Shelford (left) and Samuel Frankl at RAF Henlow.

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