Tenants Spotlight – Mike Kay, A Training Legend
On the 13th September 1993 our Estate Manager Peter Melling was a fresh faced 16 year old who arrived at 07:00am at the gates of British Aerospace Brough to begin, what turned out to be an 18 year career working for the Aerospace giant.
Peter takes up the story “from receiving the letter offering me the position of craft apprentice, to that very first day, my emotions went from elation one minute to sheer terror the next. To make it worse I already had a holiday booked so arrived a week later then my fellow 52 apprentices. I found them already forming cliques, fully inducted and filing various pieces of metal flat and square. I firmly believe that you are influenced by the people that you meet in your formative years, and once I had cleared security I was thrust into a team under the control of a certain Mike Kay. Mike was a towering man, with the biggest moustache that I had ever seen and who had an air of the military about him that demanded respect; indeed this was going to be VERY different from School. We spent the first 6 months rotating around the Training Centre, Sheet Metal work with Dave Hackett, NC Machining with Mike Gilmour, Conventional Machining with Dave Ball and Electrics with Terry Blythe and Jim Haige. Once complete, we had the option where to specialize; my immediate reaction was that I wanted to learn more from Mike. His discipline, humanity, humour, skill and patience helped shape the person that I am today and I hold Mike in my debt.
It was with no surprise when I heard that Mike had been honoured at the BAE Systems UK Apprentice Awards, being presented with an award for Outstanding Contribution to Apprentice Support. Mike started with Hawker Siddeley as an apprentice in 1976 and by 1986 had joined the apprentice training team as a trainer. He is committed to supporting all apprentices, by motivating, coaching and mentoring along the way so that they complete their apprenticeship as rounded individuals who understand their roles in the business and what BAE Systems expects of its employees. He is respected by apprentices, the business stakeholders and his peers.
Mike goes above and beyond to ensure that all apprentices are treated with respect and encourages them to participate in activities that enhance the apprenticeship framework, such as education activities, charity work, innovation challenge to mention a few.
It is not often you get a chance to personally thank your idols and I wanted to use this article to say Thank You to Mike from not only myself, but also from all the other apprentices that he has ifluenced over the years.