BAE Systems has welcomed more than 1,000 apprentices and graduates into its UK business this year, marking the largest intake in the Company’s history.
The new recruits, most of whom will be trained in engineering related roles, will have the opportunity to enhance their skills and learn how to develop cutting edge defence, aerospace and security technologies.
The Company’s sought-after training programmes reflect its long-term commitment to delivering high quality apprentice and graduate programmes and the aim to ensure more young people have the right skills to meet future workload demands.
This year for the first time, a group of apprentices began their training on the new Aerospace and Airworthiness trailblazer apprenticeship standards, approved by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills in March 2015. The new standards, designed by BAE Systems and other companies in the sector, will ensure that apprentices receive consistently high quality training and meet the needs of large companies and SMEs.
In addition, BAE Systems will train 32 apprentices on the Aerospace Engineer and Aerospace Software Development Engineer Degree Apprenticeships at its Military Air and Information business. This new scheme will allow apprentices to study part-time for a Foundation Degree and Level 4 Diploma, whilst gaining hands-on experience with some of the world’s most advanced aerospace technology, before going on to study for a full Honours degree.
Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director, Programmes and Support, BAE Systems said: “We have a long and proud history of nurturing young talent and we recognise the importance of providing consistently high levels of training. Each year we invest more than £80M in education and skills related activities to ensure we are developing the right skills to meet the future demands of our business. The apprentices and graduates joining our business this year have exciting futures ahead of them, and many of them will end up playing pivotal roles in developing, building and supporting cutting-edge products that will safeguard national security in years to come.”
Minister of State for Skills, Nick Boles MP said: “BAE Systems has long recognised the huge value apprentices bring to its business. This record intake can look forward to high quality training and a regular wage as they set up for a rewarding career”
Top tier apprenticeships are vital to the prosperity of the engineering sector and the wider UK economy. Earlier this year BAE Systems released data showing labour productivity for its workforce is double the UK average.
Of the record 724 apprentices who joined the Company last month, approximately half will be based at the Company’s submarine design and manufacturing site in Barrow-in-Furness shipyard in Cumbria, which requires hundreds of highly skilled staff to deliver the five remaining Astute class attack submarines and to develop the new ‘Successor’ submarines.
More than 120 of the 292 graduates to join the Company will start work within the cyber security business, in response to the need to help organisations protect themselves from the increased threat of fraud, cyber-attack and digital criminality.