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Local students from St Paul’s High School in Bessbrook and Sacred Heart Grammar and Our Lady’s Grammar School in Newry visited B/E Aerospace in Kilkeel.

Sacred Heart Grammar School in Newry: teacher Patricia McClelland with A level students (from left) Olivia McAvoy, Maeve McCourt and Aoife Flanagan.
Sacred Heart Grammar School in Newry: teacher Patricia McClelland with A level students (from left) Olivia McAvoy, Maeve McCourt and Aoife Flanagan.

B/E Aerospace manufactures a quarter of the world’s commercial airline seats and they hosted the Inspire To Work Day designed to give A level students from across Northern Ireland a unique  insight into the sector. 

Working in partnership with Business In The Community’s ‘Inspire To Aspire’ programme, the Kilkeel factory rolled out the red carpet for students and their teachers, creating a careers day which reflected the diverse skills and disciplines  needed to create and engineer the company’s products, support customers around the world and manage a business which locally employs 830 people.

Relaxing after the Inspire To Work Day with presenter Connor Phillips are the B/E Aerospace Interns who planned and managed the event.  Back row, from left are Ben Whittaker, from Portrush, Engineering Intern in Composites, studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University; Thomas McGeown, from Keady, Supply Chain Intern, studying Business Economics at University of Ulster;  Conleth McAlinden, from Lurgan, Quality Engineer Intern in Main Cabin studying Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University; Rory Conroy from Keady, Supply Chain Intern, studying Business Economics at University of Ulster; Aaron Smyth, from Omagh,  Manufacturing Engineer Intern in Furnishings & Fittings,  studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University; Robert Kane from Londonderry, Quality Engineer Intern in Premium studying Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University; Philip Parr from Ballygawley, Engineering Intern in Main Cabin, studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University.  Front row, from left, Kristin McCartney from Kilkeel studying Business at University of Ulster and  Rachel Curran, also from Kilkeel,  ICT Intern from Kilkeel studying Computing and Information Technology at Queen’s University.
Relaxing after the Inspire To Work Day with presenter Connor Phillips are the B/E Aerospace Interns who planned and managed the event.  Back row, from left are Ben Whittaker, from Portrush, Engineering Intern in Composites, studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University; Thomas McGeown, from Keady, Supply Chain Intern, studying Business Economics at University of Ulster;  Conleth McAlinden, from Lurgan, Quality Engineer Intern in Main Cabin studying Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University; Rory Conroy from Keady, Supply Chain Intern, studying Business Economics at University of Ulster; Aaron Smyth, from Omagh,  Manufacturing Engineer Intern in Furnishings & Fittings,  studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University; Robert Kane from Londonderry, Quality Engineer Intern in Premium studying Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University; Philip Parr from Ballygawley, Engineering Intern in Main Cabin, studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University.  Front row, from left, Kristin McCartney from Kilkeel studying Business at University of Ulster and  Rachel Curran, also from Kilkeel,  ICT Intern from Kilkeel studying Computing and Information Technology at Queen’s University.

Checking out the opportunities were students from St Paul’s High School in Bessbrook and Sacred Heart Grammar and Our Lady’s Grammar School in Newry who enjoyed a day-long programme planned and managed by student interns currently on one year placements with B/E Aerospace.  There to add a touch of fun and energy to the day in his inimitably irreverent style was CoolFM presenter, Jonesboro man Connor Phillips who challenged the students to harness their STEM (Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering) skills by designing their own version of an airline seat … but one made entirely from old newspapers! 

St Paul’s, Bessbrook: teacher Donal Murray with A level students (from left) Ryan Clarke, Matthew Clarke and Callan Connolly.
St Paul’s, Bessbrook: teacher Donal Murray with A level students (from left) Ryan Clarke, Matthew Clarke and Callan Connolly.

Yvonne Mallon, HR Director at B/E Aerospace, was delighted at the response from students and teachers alike.  She said, “The students were all up for some fun and embraced the opportunity created by our highly capable and energetic Interns to get out of the classroom for an informal and enjoyable foray into the world of work.  Teachers too made the most of the opportunity to find out about careers with B/E Aerospace and we hope that they will go back to their schools ready to strike an optimistic note about career paths for young people with an interest in STEM subjects.

Our Lady’s Grammar School in Newry: Thomas Hackett with A level students (from left) Kathryn Boyle, Blanaid McGivern and Leah Mooney.
Our Lady’s Grammar School in Newry: Thomas Hackett with A level students (from left) Kathryn Boyle, Blanaid McGivern and Leah Mooney.

“We are a constantly growing company with superb job openings at a wide range of levels.  We’re eager to attract and, indeed, develop the young talent which we know exists across Northern Ireland and we’d like to think that some of the young people who visited the plant for our Inspire To Work Day may one day return as B/E Aerospace employees.” 

Kathryn Boyle (Our Lady’s Grammar School, Newry); Olivia McAvoy (Sacred Heart Grammar School, Newry); Seamus Cunningham (St Louis Grammar School, Kilkeel) and Ruth Annett (Kilkeel High School) find out more about B/E Aerospace from engineer Philip Parr, while Cool FM presenter Connor Phillips from Jonesboro added energy and fun to the experiential day.
Kathryn Boyle (Our Lady’s Grammar School, Newry); Olivia McAvoy (Sacred Heart Grammar School, Newry); Seamus Cunningham (St Louis Grammar School, Kilkeel) and Ruth Annett (Kilkeel High School) find out more about B/E Aerospace from engineer Philip Parr, while Cool FM presenter Connor Phillips from Jonesboro added energy and fun to the experiential day.
Bobby Kane from B/E Aerospace provides an insight into the company’s work at Kilkeel for Callan Connolly from St Paul’s School in Bessbrook and CoolFM presenter Connor Phillips.
Bobby Kane from B/E Aerospace provides an insight into the company’s work at Kilkeel for Callan Connolly from St Paul’s School in Bessbrook and CoolFM presenter Connor Phillips.
Enjoying the craic with CoolFM’s Connor Phillips (centre) are (from left) Conleth McAlinden and Trevor Long from B/E Aerospace; Matthew Clarke and Ryan Clarke from St Paul’s High School in Bessbrook; Blanaid McGovern from Our Lady’s Grammar School in Newry and Aoife Flanagan from Sacred Heart Grammar School in Newry.
Enjoying the craic with CoolFM’s Connor Phillips (centre) are (from left) Conleth McAlinden and Trevor Long from B/E Aerospace; Matthew Clarke and Ryan Clarke from St Paul’s High School in Bessbrook; Blanaid McGovern from Our Lady’s Grammar School in Newry and Aoife Flanagan from Sacred Heart Grammar School in Newry.
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