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Engineering & Technology Skills Critical to Nation’s Defence and Security Says Group MD

London, United Kingdom - The Group Managing Director of the country’s largest engineering employer outlined plans today to develop and recruit hundreds of UK engineers, technologists and scientists for its cyber and intelligence and submarines businesses.

The recruitment drive will ensure skills important to safeguarding the UK’s defence and security are developed and maintained. Plans were unveiled as part of BAE Systems’ Skills 2020 strategy and programme aimed at ensuring the Company has the skills required to operate effectively in the UK into 2020 and beyond.

More than 60 graduates with a science, engineering, technology and maths background have already been recruited this year to support the growth of BAE Systems Detica, the Company’s cyber and intelligence business. The majority of new recruits will be supporting projects that help to protect governments and industry from increasing numbers of sophisticated cyber attacks as well as collating and analysing huge volumes of highly complex data. An additional 90 graduates are scheduled to start in the next couple of months with another 200 to be recruited in 2012.

In the Company’s submarine business at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, a further 200 skilled engineers and project managers are sought to work on the design and build of the successor submarine to the Vanguard Class which is currently scheduled to enter service in 2028. In May 2011, the UK Government gave approval for the early design phase for the submarine programme, leading to the current recruitment drive for additional electrical, mechanical and structural engineers and naval architects.

Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director, Programmes & Support at BAE Systems said: “According to the UK Commission for Employment & Skills, 45% of new UK jobs over the next decade will require a background in science, technology, engineering and maths. Action needs to be taken if this target is to be met. Through our Skills 2020 programme we will ensure we have the right skills to meet our customers’ and the nation’s needs.”

Nigel continued: “Our Company’s recruitment of hundreds of engineers, technologists and scientists for our cyber and intelligence and submarine businesses demonstrates the long term nature of BAE Systems’ UK operations in which we’re proud to be investing     

Notes to editors
• BAE Systems employs 18,000 engineers in the UK, making it the country’s largest employer of skilled engineers.
• BAE Systems’ Skills 2020 programme, launched in July 2010, encompasses all its UK education, skills and employee development and training activity as well as university liaison. Skills 2020 will ensure the company has the skills to compete successfully over the next decade and beyond. Skills 2020 demands concerted action in promoting science, technology, engineering and maths in schools, colleges and universities.
• In the UK alone, the Company invests more than £79M per annum in education, training and skills related activities. This includes funding apprentice and graduate training programmes, schools liaison and university R&D programmes.
• At any one time the Company has around 1,000 apprentices in training, with 95% in engineering training. The company was awarded an Ofsted Grade 1 outstanding for its apprentice training in 2010 and won the National Apprentice Award’s Macro Employer of the Year award in June 2011.
• BAE Systems works with more than 100 universities worldwide including 30 in the UK.