Raytheon - Sam Hutton

In this case study we hear from Sam Hutton of Raytheon UK. Sam has recently graduated with First Class Honours on our Engineering Design & Manufacture (Electronic) programme. We also hear from Steve Fortune, who is the Training and Development lead at Raytheon.

Please explain how you found the Graduate Apprenticeship opportunity and give some background to what you were doing before the opportunity came up?

I found out about the opportunity on apprenticeship.scot. When applying for Raytheon I was going for the modern apprenticeship, after I got the job Raytheon informed me that they were now going to do the GLA which I said I was happy to complete.  

What were the benefits of Graduate Apprenticeship programme that attracted you the most?

There were a few key reasons of the GA that appealed to me most:

  • Full time wage whist studying.
  • Leaving University with a degree and 4 years industry experience.
  • Being able to study at one of my short-listed universities.  

Please describe what you are employed to do:

Currently I work in the process engineering department, mostly working on supporting our In Circuit Test capability as well as general manufacturing support. My job title is – Graduate manufacturing engineer. 

How have you found the challenge of combining work with studying towards a degree?

It has been hard at points; the first two years were intensive with lectures and tutorials which meant long days at university. The final two years had less courses and more focus on project work which I found easier to relate back to work. Overall, I found it challenging but manageable with support from Raytheon to complete my studies. 

What is your proudest achievement to date in your role and can you explain how this impacted on your working environment and or helped deliver results on behalf of your organisation?

I think for me it was learning and developing skills within out in circuit test department. I was able to quickly learn key skills within the department and deliver new programs for new product introduction development. I was required to pick the task up very quickly and apply it to the problem, a key skill that I developed over the course of my studies at Heriot Watt. This achievement was recognised by senior management.

What are your future career hopes and goals on completion of the Graduate Apprenticeship?

For me I want to continue to develop my knowledge across circuit card manufacture. I really enjoy the manufacturing environment and supporting new product introduction. In addition, I have also taken on the role of STEM Lead for my site, this role involves supporting the local community with STEM events and opportunities. I really think the GA scheme has set me up well to educate and support young students to choose a career within STEM as I have been through the GA scheme as well as a foundation apprenticeship.

Can you outline what support and/or encouragement your employer has given you in your GA journey?

Raytheon have been supportive in providing 4 hours a week to study and give us the day before an exam to prepare.

They also supported us in our year 4 projects making sure they were suitable for year 4 quality and that they could be shown to the universities (non-Disclosure).

Please give a quote to sum up your overall experience of the Graduate Apprenticeship programme:

Great programme to gain relevant experience whilst gaining university level qualification.

Steve Fortune, Training and Development lead at Raytheon UK

Can you provide some background to Raytheon?

▪ Raytheon UK employs 2,000 people.
▪ Multiple Major Sites across the UK including 2 in Scotland (Glenrothes and Livingston).
▪ A prime contractor and major supplier to the U.K. Ministry of Defence and other Government departments.
▪ Provides solutions in areas including airborne intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, cyber, training solutions and space.

What are the key reasons why the Graduate Apprenticeship model suits your specific business/industry?

The graduate apprenticeships are used by Raytheon UK to attract the best new talent and encourage existing employees to work on their career development and progression. It helps the company to fill the talent pipeline with the skills we require and train our apprentices in the specific areas relevant to our business.

What appealed to you most about Heriot-Watt University as the GA provider?

  • The courses offered
  • The relationship and communication with their employers
  • Location
  • Track record

In what way has the candidate made a contribution to the workplace / business?

Sam has made a really positive impact during his time as a graduate apprentice. Initially his enthusiasm and work ethic were really refreshing and useful to the team. Latterly his technical capabilities and interpersonal skills have meant he has been able to take on key roles within the process engineering team, in cross functional projects and most recently as our STEM Site Lead.

How do you feel about Sam’s future?

Sam has a very bright future which we hope to continue to help him grow and develop. Sam has now achieved his first class honours through the GA programme and is now on Raytheon UK’s Graduate Development Programme which will target leadership skills and further progression within the department.

Based on your experience of the Graduate Apprenticeship programme would you happily employ another Graduate Apprentice in the future?

Yes, this programme is proving to be highly sought after, which allows us to attract exciting new talent and encourages our existing employees to look at their career development in order to apply for this programme.

The company aims to grow significantly in the next few years we will continue to require new talent to join the company and help us with our exciting new products and business areas.