A new aerospace apprenticeship scheme will create 15 openings at Flybe.

The regional carrier will place successful graduates in the position of being able to enter the workforce as fully qualified aircraft fitter/technicians after four years.

Exeter College, Flybe’s long-standing training partner, has been chosen as the preferred provider to deliver and assess the theoretical elements of the new apprenticeship programme announced during National Apprenticeship Week.

The 15 successful applicants will join Flybe in six months’ time, receiving practical training at its engineering workshops and maintenance repair and overhaul facilities at Exeter airport.

Aviation minister Baroness Sugg said: “Engineering is one of the most productive sectors in our economy, but faces a major skills gap and lack of diversity.

“That’s why we’ve joined forces with more than 1,000 partners for the Year of Engineering – a national campaign to show young people the huge variety and rewards of a career in engineering.

“Flybe’s new aerospace engineering apprenticeship scheme is a fantastic chance for young people to shape the future of how we travel.

“Apprenticeship schemes like this are a great route for young people to get into engineering and highlight what an exciting career it can be.”

Flybe chief executive Christine Ourmières-Widener added: “Our apprenticeships offer a fantastic opportunity for school leavers to gain an industry-leading qualification.

“With aviation worldwide facing a shortage of technicians and engineers, we fully expect the programme to be received enthusiastically and become a much sought-after opportunity. It will pave the way to many rewarding and well remunerated careers in a truly dynamic industry.”

College vice principal Rob Bosworth said: “After ten years of successfully working in partnership with Flybe, we are delighted to support this apprenticeship programme.

“We are really lucky to be working with not only an international brand that is based here in Exeter, but also one that is so well connected to its local community.”