Profile: BAE Systems apprentice Joshua Sandat

To mark National Engineering Day, Joshua Sandat talks about his role as an apprentice Embedded Electronics Engineer at BAE Systems.


Have you always been interested in engineering?

Engineering projects have always been a personal interest and hobby of mine. First and foremost, I love cars and can often be found in my workshop tinkering with them. I regularly undertake my own small motor projects and build motorbikes in my spare time – all of which are heavily modified and engineered for different applications. Prior to my work at BAE Systems, I was also hired by a local restaurant to help them design and develop a new type of kebab machine – it’s still in use today with a patented design!

Designing and developing products, and solving problems are things I have always loved, so pursuing engineering professionally seemed like a natural fit for me.

Why did you choose an Engineering apprenticeship?

I always knew that university wasn’t the right choice for me; I wanted an opportunity where I could learn whilst earning. While the guidance from my sixth form was unfortunately heavily geared towards university applications, I came across the BAE apprenticeship vacancy on Indeed through my own research. It looked like a good opportunity for me, especially as it was close to home in Chelmsford.

What do you love most about working in this sector?

Getting to grips with different projects has been a great way to start working in the sector. We’ve been exposed to a wide variety of projects so far, which is a great learning experience. There’s three of us in my cohort, as well as four other apprentices in the first and second year cohorts, and we are a very tight knit group both in and out of work. We all have a range of strengths and approach things differently, so it’s been great to work together as a team and learn and support from each other. We are all really appreciative of the opportunity we’ve been given through our apprenticeships!

Any advice you have for other budding engineers?

If you’re applying to an apprenticeship, during the process make sure to highlight everything that makes you different. Everyone’s education is similar, so differentiate yourself by showcasing what makes you stand out. Whether that’s hobbies or projects you’re working on – it all matters.

I’d also encourage anyone considering the apprenticeship route to remember that you can come in at any level and via a range of different routes; for example you can do one if you’ve already completed another apprenticeship, and if you don’t have A-Levels. I personally came in through the BTEC route, and despite my grades, it would have not been enough UCAS points to get me into university, but I was accepted on this apprenticeship.