Seven well-qualified students have won apprenticeship positions with Bristow Helicopters, from a field of nearly 120 competitors. Varying in age between 17 and 21, the seven young men are currently studying at Air Service Training, Perth. They are all beginning the second stage of their apprenticeship programs, and are working toward their Category A3 Licenses. If they succeed, all seven will gain full aircraft maintenance engineer qualifications. "We at Bristow are very mindful that we can harness talent at a very young age through the apprenticeship program. We recognize that apprentices can make your organization more effective, productive and competitive by addressing your skills gaps directly," says Phil Mitchell, director centralized operations, Bristow, Eastern Hemisphere. "I had heard about Bristow and knew they were one of the largest helicopter companies in the area, so I knew this was a great opportunity," says 21-year-old apprentice Ross Bisset, whose older brother is already working in the helicopter industry. "I found out that, unlike many companies, you don’t need an engineering degree to get into Bristow," adds apprentice Andy Patterson, 17. All of the apprentices will be posted to Bristow Helicopter’s base in Aberdeen, Scotland. With its ties to the North Sea oil industry, the Aberdeen heliport is the busiest in Europe, with 40,000 flights annually.