Ben Farnsworth a technical apprentice working for Techni-Grind

The 21 engineers and manufacturers have moved in to 12 companies throughout the region having undergone a year of training at BAE Systems’ training school in Preston, Lancashire.

They were given 12 months training starting in 2013 as part of the Employee Ownership Pilot programme, set up to boost skills in supply chain companies and part-funded by Government.

They have now moved in to the workplaces of their parent companies with a further 10 apprentices now in training at the BAE Systems centre.

Later this year, this second cohort will join the workforces of  companies throughout the region with a third cohort due to start at the centre from this September.

Ben Farnsworth a technical apprentice is now working for Techni-Grind (Machining), a company based in Preston which provides precision machining for components used by aerospace firms across the globe, including BAE Systems.

Dennis Boyle, Shop Floor Manager at Techni-Grind, said:

"Ben has been a real gem for us and brought skills to our business which have help to boost our productivity and efficiency. The training he has been received on the BAE Systems apprenticeship scheme at the Preston Training Centre has been invaluable to Ben and our business and the support the Company continues to offer us has been first-class.

“As a small business, we are not in a position to set up an apprenticeship scheme like the one BAE Systems has, so being able to benefit from getting apprentices like Ben has been a real boost."

Last month, Ben’s work was recognised when he was awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award by a First Year Apprentice at the regional finals of the Engineering Employers’ Federation Future Manufacturing Awards, while the team behind the Preston Training Centre was named Training Provider of the Year at the North West Aerospace Alliance New Talent Awards.

Andy Bloor, Head of Early Careers for the company’s Military Air and Information (MAI) business, said:

“We are proud of the contribution our apprentices make to our business and the training we offer gives our recruits the chance to learn from senior engineers and gain invaluable experience working on cutting edge products, to further advance their careers.  We recognise the importance of the supporting the companies in our supply chain and the important role they have in future success of our business.

For the first time the company is offering a Higher Apprenticeship qualification in engineering which has attracted more than 400 applications to join the September intake.

The Higher Apprenticeship is a five-year scheme which enables apprentices to earn an honours degree in either Aerospace Engineering or Aerospace Software Development.