GKN Aerospace is the world's leading multi-technology tier 1 aerospace supplier. With manufacturing facilities in 12 countries covering Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas we produce aerostructures, engine systems, electrical wiring systems, landing gear and transparencies for 90% of the world's most advanced aircraft and aero-engines.
Aerospace engineers have been inspired by nature throughout the history of flight. At GKN Aerospace our heritage goes back to 1759 - and through those 260 + years we've honed our world-class design, manufacturing and engineering skills. We have a reputation for quality and innovation that stretches back to the early days of aviation.
In the last decade we've made record investments into research and development to accelerate sustainable aviation and the ultimate goal of net zero by 2050. We're doing everything possible now to reduce emmissions and waste in our manufacturing processes and we've deeply invested in the future of flight through new materials and processes, electrification and hydrogen propulsion technologies.
We are looking for people who want to make a difference, talented people with the skills and passion to become leaders of the future in what they do.
Whether it's a career as an engineer innovating to overcome technical challenges, a fitter on the shop floor using your meticulous attention to detail and quality to build the precision parts we make, or as an executive helping to lead the business, choosing GKN Aerospace means you are joining a global aerospace company on a mission to be the most trusted and sustainable partner in the sky.
GKN Aerospace has a structured approach to career and personal development, and supports all employees to develop their capabilities and realise their aspirations. You can be confident that you will have access to the very best training. We want you to succeed and will invest to make this happen.
Our ambition to be the most sustainable partner in the sky has real purpose and is opening up a world of fantastic challenges and amazing opportunities.
Our goal is to embrace the human attributes that make each of us unique, to value those attributes and their uniqueness, and to create an environment where everyone feels welcome to contribute. We need people of different backgrounds, with different skills and perspectives to spark originality, imagination and creativeness in our teams.
Our people work with passion and determination to make aircraft fly further, faster and greener. We draw on each other's expertise and experience to achieve excellence. We build our teams on trust and respect, we believe there is power in people, but even greater power in teams.
Senior Design Engineer
I've been working in the industry since 1992 – initially at Fokker, but I also spent about 18 months in the USA working for Boeing. When I returned to the Netherlands in 1998, I re-joined Fokker again and worked there as a design engineer.
Good design work is a really important part of what we do, since the way a part is designed determines for instance the weight of the part, which has a direct influence on the performance and efficiency of the aircraft, which in turn has impact on the environment! Getting it right means that people will still be able to travel to different places. But we all share a responsibility to reduce the impact of our activities on the environment. So I know that I'm making a true contribution to reducing our industry's environmental footprint.
Working as a design engineer helps you to see the big picture. It involves lots of teamwork, which gives you plenty of opportunities to learn new skills from colleagues and to enhance your technical knowledge. Looking forward, Iɽ welcome the opportunity to work on some of the bigger aircraft components.
To do well here in your daily work, I think it is key to have an enthusiastic and persistent approach. This is essential to solve tricky design issues and working through differences of opinions. You can always rely on the support of your colleagues around you, which means a lot. People are always very approachable and you can ask questions to everyone without hesitation.
When I'm not designing aeroplane parts, I still have plenty going on. I play tennis, try my hand at pottery, and I play the oboe. I've also chosen to study further on and have completed a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Sciences and I am now studying to obtain the Master's degree. This has been very inspiring in my job too, as we are committed on creating more environmentally friendly aerospace solutions. We have plenty still to do in this department and it's really rewarding work.
Global Sustainability Project Manager
I'm a Global Sustainability Project Manager here at GKN Aerospace. This means that I'm completely immersed in what we are doing to improve our environmental, social and economic footprint. In short, this means that I work in favour of, rather than against, our planet. It's something I'm really passionate about, a goal that I can really get behind.
When looking at the technologies we develop, we can clearly take our inspiration from nature – after all plenty of creatures were flying before we were! Many of our design and efficiency principles are rooted in things we see in the natural world. Often simple ideas can make a world of difference. We can learn a lot from the world around us.
There are three key aspects to my work. 1) The strategic element: making sure the organization is headed in the right direction in enabling net-zero aviation, and setting realistic yet ambitious goals. 2) The operational element: implementing practical changes across the business to reduce our impact on the environment, as well as driving a culture of sustainability. And 3) the governance element: holding ourselves accountable and collecting the right data to ensure that we don't lose momentum - it's far too important.
I enjoy the diversity of my role - every day is different. My work gives me a true sense of purpose and I can see how it positively affects the company, the industry, and the planet. If we get it right, we can transform our sustainability credentials into a competitive advantage, resulting in an ideal platform to continue pushing the envelope in the future.
There are many other aspects of working here that I enjoy. It's a great physical environment to work in – the facilities are good, and my colleagues are pleasant. In addition, I feel listened to; that I can influence our approach; and that my contribution is valued.
A good work / life balance is very important to me; it keeps me healthy and energized. Notably, in addition to my work, I am a professional Snowboard Cross athlete, and the company supports me on this journey. Flexibility around working patterns and remote working help make this possible. It's refreshing to be trusted to do a good job.
If you were to ask me what skills you need to work here, I would suggest that an inquisitive and creative mind is a good start. That's the key to innovation. Moreover, good communication skills are vital, along with an appreciation of the cultural differences that you will encounter when working in a global business. It's a really rewarding professional environment.
Production Team Leader
If I were to sum up what it's like to work at GKN Aerospace, I think I would describe it as being aboard a train (or perhaps a plane) travelling at great speed. Things never stand still, so it suits someone who relishes that type of working environment. It's challenging work, but incredibly rewarding.
I'm relatively new to the organisation and was attracted by the legacy of the place. GKN Aerospace and Fokker have been pioneers in aviation, and that's something I'm proud to be part of. The company continues to innovate and break new ground today and the drive for environmental sustainability is something I can really get behind. I really enjoy working here and I hope to be part of the production team for a long time.
I'm very focused on building the expertise and experience of my team. I've definitely been able to develop my coaching skills during my time here. It's really rewarding to see how much people can develop on the job – often starting from scratch, or with limited technical expertise. Some of the processes we follow are unique to the aviation industry so it's not uncommon for people to have to learn those techniques after they join. People with the right motivation and commitment can really thrive here. And alongside coaching there is plenty of 'on-the-job' learning for people who want to take on more responsibility. In fact, that mirrors my own experience, when I had to step in to cover someone who was absent. I learned a lot in a short space of time.
I think it's very important that GKN Aerospace plays its part in supporting its customer to reduce the overall environmental impact of air travel.
The site in Papendrecht is growing fast – going from 800 to 1,800 people. But I think it still retains its sense of belonging – a bit like a family. That partly comes from the heritage of the place, and even though the scale is much greater collaboration is still very much of the DNA here.
VP HR Performance and Reward
Like many people here I originally joined Fokker – back in 2011. And then we became part of GKN Aerospace in 2015. It's been an amazing journey and I've learned a lot along the way.
If you asked me what makes working here special, I would say 'the product and the culture'. We have a great brand reputation that's founded on years and years of quality work. And that legacy links directly to the culture. People are proud to work here and want to pull together to achieve the best they can. Colleagues are passionate about what they do, and there's an open and friendly approach that I think gets the best from people. We respect one another; listen to one another; and learn from one another. Take the initiative. If you need help: just ask, and people are ready to get involved.
I started off here in a specialist technical role but have subsequently moved into a leadership role. I've had the benefit of great training to support me in making this transition and develop the new skills I need. There have been lots of opportunities to get involved in new initiatives and to learn. Our graduate programme is a great example of this. It takes the form of a two-year programme and participants change role every six months – so they get to develop a really broad understanding of the business, form a range of perspectives.
I would say that there are many different elements that make up an aeroplane. Obviously, there are the technical and physical aspects. But it also needs to work from a business perspective, to ensure the financial success of the organisation. And now, we are embedding environmental sustainability into every stage of an aircraft's life. From its design, through to its construction, and finally its performance in the air. This is the most important part of our work today. We need to harness the full potential of technology, great design and the very best creative minds so that we can do our best for the planet. This is a necessity.
What inspires me? I think we can learn a lot from children. Children are completely open and honest with one another and comfortable just being themselves. And I think that's a good principle for the workplace too. If you remove barriers in the workplace, encourage people to be true to themselves and respect the views of others, you can create a really rich working culture, that draws on the diversity of experience and perspectives that people bring. It's really inspiring to work with people from different cultures who bring new ideas. It's important to listen. If you can harness all of that potential who knows what you can achieve?
Team Lead Sheet Metal / Quality Control
My name's Jeroen, and I've worked here for the last 25 years (starting off aged 17) – maintaining aircraft; and it's enabled me to travel all over the world. I love my work, and I'm proud to be associated with a brand with the heritage of Fokker and GKN Aerospace. I get to work on incredibly high-quality products and you are constantly learning new skills and techniques as the technology develops.
That's particularly true at the moment as we endeavour to do all we can to reduce the environmental impact of air travel. It's something that we have to get right, as we only have one planet. It's great to see practical developments that make a real difference, such as reducing the weight of aircraft to make them more efficient. And then there's the really ground-breaking stuff that you can get involved in such as solar energy or hydrogen fuelled flight, that is really exciting.
Working here has been a great experience. I've been able to undertake a number of different roles and develop different skills – some practical and technical, but also softer skills such as communication. And I've been able to undertake formal training through courses. I was thrilled to become a Team Leader in 2018 - I've really enjoyed the opportunity to share my insights and experiences with newer members of the team and help them to develop.
Outside of work I'm a voluntary firefighter in my local community and enjoy a range of sports, such as running and snowboarding. That, and my two daughters, keep me pretty busy.
There are a few key characteristics that I think make the difference when you work here. Being a good team player is probably at the top of the list. Good communication skills are also important, along with an open and honest approach to working with others. In return, you'll discover that it's a welcoming place. People are friendly and your contribution is valued and respected.
We are a company of over 15,000 people, across 12 countries covering Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas. Here in the Netherlands, we currently have opportunities in four locations. We are investing significantly and for the long-term to create two vibrant, modern Centres of Excellence in Papendrecht and Hoogeveen.
In Papendrecht we're growing at pace and this will soon be a multi-technology aerospace campus with over 1,800 people working here. We're building advanced aircraft structures and systems on the amazing heritage that Fokker pioneered here and bringing together and streamlining many of our manufacturing processes.
More than 1000 colleagues are involved in the design and manufacturing of components and systems for state-of-the-art defense aircraft and rotorcraft like F-35 and Apache. Hoogeveen is also the location of GKN Aerospace's global technology centre for lightweight thermoplastic composite technologies supporting the next generation of sustainable aircraft.
We will move our Landing Gear and the Wiring activities from Helmond and Hoogerheide, to Papendrecht in 2022 and 2023.
GKN Aerospace is a company where the contribution of our people is truly valued. We listen to our people and their safety and well-being is our top priority.
There's no doubt that we have a passion for flying, but we care for the planet in equal measure - which is why we're on a mission to make aerospace fit for the natural world.
We are a Tier 1 supplier to the aerospace industries biggest names, so a career at GKN Aerospace can truly offer you an unrivalled breadth of experience to achieve your true potential.