Inspiring and developing our people to drive success is a crucial part of BAE Systems’ strategy. That’s why we invest in a range of education and training opportunities, such as our apprentice scheme, to secure and nurture the next generation of talent in our business.
The outstanding achievements and contributions of our apprentices across air, land, sea and cyber are recognised through our annual UK Apprentice of the Year Awards.
This year, following a rigorous nomination and assessment process, 25 apprentices were selected to attend an awards event in Manchester. The event, hosted by ex-winning apprentices was presented to a roomful of BAE Systems Directors and external guests.
Eight deserving apprentices were honoured for their dedication, commitment and overall excellence in various disciplines, with the evening’s top prize – UK Apprentice of the Year – going to Blossom, age 20 who also won the Business Support Apprentice of the Year Award. During her time as an apprentice, Blossom worked in a range of different areas of the business at Brough, varying from Engineering Operations within the F-35 military aircraft programme, to working with the company’s finance teams.
Blossom was surprised and honoured to take the 2016 Apprentice of the Year title, which was presented by last year’s winner, Bradley Smith and Chief Operating Officer Charles Woodburn.
"I am completely overwhelmed to be honest. When I applied to BAE Systems I was originally on the reserve list, so to be here now is unbelievable.” said Blossom. “I’m so proud to have received this award. I just got stuck into every opportunity my placement had to offer and tried to help my team as much as possible.”
“I would like to congratulate Blossom Hill on winning. She is an exceptional apprentice and I hope her win inspires other young people at BAE Systems and those considering joining our company. These are the first Apprentice Awards I have attended at BAE Systems and I was hugely impressed. The talent, commitment and hard work of all BAE Systems apprentices helps to make our company what it is. Very well done to all those involved.”
Charles Woodburn, Chief Operating Officer
Richard Hamer, BAE Systems, Education and Early Careers Director added: "We are immensely proud of our apprentices and all the hard work and enthusiasm they put in to learn and develop in our business. It really is testament to the enthusiasm and effort put in by our young people – taking on every opportunity they can across the business – that we can celebrate so many this evening. Huge congratulations to all of the winners, as well as those shortlisted.”
Anthony Knowles, Skills Funding Agency added: "Congratulations to Blossom Hill and all the apprentice winners at BAE Systems Apprenticeship Awards last night on their achievements. The government is committed to making sure that apprenticeships are accessible to all people, of all ages, from all backgrounds. I’d like to thank BAE Systems for its commitment delivering high quality apprenticeships."
Lynn Beattie, Membership & Professional Standards Advisor, Royal Aeronautical Society added: "I was delighted to have been asked by BAE Systems to participate as a judge in its UK apprentice awards. BAE Systems recruits and develops exceptional young engineers through its apprenticeship programmes, providing a strong pipeline of talent into the engineering profession to meet the company's future skills needs."
BAE Systems' UK Apprentice Awards
Ben Icke, Craft Mechanical Apprentice of the Year
Damian Rounding, Craft Electrical Apprentice of the Year
Zak Raymen, Craft Fabrication Apprentice of the Year
Cameron Kirkland, Technical Engineering Apprentice of the Year
Thomas Beswick, Outstanding Achievement Award
Blossom Hill, Business Support Apprentice of the Year award
Congratulations to all of this year’s deserving winners. Here’s why they impressed the judges:
Ben Icke, Maritime Services - Craft Mechanical Apprentice of the Year
Ben, demonstrated continued progression and professionalism, acting as a role model for BAE Systems apprenticeships, partaking in extra-curricular activities including the Apprentice Innovation Challenge last year.
Damian Rounding, Military Air and Information - Craft Electrical Apprentice of the Year
Damian, changed his career path entirely to begin his apprenticeship in 2014. Since then he has been described as “exceptional” by his peers, taking on a variety of Craft Electrical challenges within complex military aircraft – including spending time working on site at RAF Valley and going on to complete an NVQ Level 3 in Aeronautical Engineering.
Zak Raymen, Maritime Naval Ships - Craft Fabrication Apprentice of the Year
Zak, impressed the judges with his outstanding quality of work and commitment to college, which prompted his selection to progress to the Higher National Certificate class. He has also proved to be an accomplished welder with exceptional work in placements on Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers and Offshore Patrol Vessels.
Cameron Kirkland, Maritime Naval Services - Engineering Technical Engineering Apprentice of the Year
Cameron, was praised for his outstanding work ethic, supporting a number of Education and Early Careers outreach programmes and taking part in the Apprentice Innovation Challenge. He has also worked on designs that were integrated into the overall design of the Archerfish deployment mechanism on Small Boats project.
Thomas Beswick, Land UK - Outstanding Achievement Award
Thomas, impressed the judges with his commitment to charity work, which has included him designing and manufacturing 500 medals, organising a Royal British Legion centenary celebration walk and coordinating a charity.
Blossom Hill, Military Air and Information - Business Support Apprentice of the Year and our Overall Apprentice of the Year 2016 winner
Blossom, impressed the judges with her endless enthusiasm and competence at taking on a number of different challenges, demonstrated over the course of her apprenticeship.