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BAE Systems presses ahead with plans to recruit 800 apprentices

Image of Apprentice 2019 ASK Air facility Samlesbury
We are moving forward with the recruitment of a record number of apprentices, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
More than 9,000 people across the UK applied for the 800 apprenticeship roles during February. We have put in place measures, including virtual interviews, which have enabled us to restart our recruitment drive with almost 2,000 shortlisted candidates.
 
Getting people back to work and creating new jobs, especially for younger people, is a national priority and we’re pleased to play our part in supporting the UK’s economic recovery.

Charles Woodburn

, Group Chief Executive Officer
 
Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive, BAE Systems, said: “Getting people back to work and creating new jobs, especially for younger people, is a national priority and we’re pleased to play our part in supporting the UK’s economic recovery. The contribution apprentices make to our business is vital in maintaining our ability to continue to deliver cutting edge technologies which protect national security. We’ve worked hard to adapt our application and training processes to allow education to continue, whilst protecting the health and wellbeing of our employees and new recruits.”
 
Recent research from the Resolution Foundation found that those born in the late 1990s are expected to be hardest hit by the current crisis. Over the last few weeks, our early careers teams have developed new ways to enable candidates - most of whom are aged between 16 19 - to be interviewed safely and remotely. 
 
The successful applicants will begin their careers on one of more than 25 apprenticeship training programmes in our Air, Maritime and Electronic Systems divisions, with the majority joining from September to January. 
 
Image of Apprentice intake infographic
 
 
Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP, Secretary of State for Education, said: “It is brilliant to see BAE Systems’ continued support for apprenticeships, recognising the hard work, skills and value that apprentices bring to a world-leading British company. 
 
“BAE Systems’ recruitment of 800 apprentices is yet more evidence that apprenticeships are an excellent choice for young people and shows that they are an excellent route into a wide range of high-quality and exciting careers. I am certain that apprenticeships will play a vital role in our economic recovery from coronavirus.  
 
“I’d like to wish all of those who applied the best of luck and to thank BAE Systems for their ongoing commitment to invest in their next generation of highly skilled staff.”
 
Those who make it through the selection process could find themselves working on some of the UK’s most exciting and nationally important programmes. Apprentices play a role in developing future combat air technologies for the Tempest programme in Warton, Lancashire, as well as in the design and build of Dreadnought submarines in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, and Type 26 frigates in Glasgow. Applicants could also find themselves working alongside the Armed Forces at RAF Coningsby or Portsmouth Naval Base. 
 
More than 70% of new apprenticeships are based in the North of England.  Since 2016, we have invested more than £40 million in two state of the art Academies for Skills & Knowledge at Samlesbury, Lancashire, and Barrow-in-Furness to train and develop employees, including our apprentices. 
 
Our apprentices train in a number of disciplines including engineering, manufacturing, project management, finance, business administration and IT – representing a diverse and rigorous training programme. Approximately 95% successfully complete their training and our apprentices have a strong track record of enjoying long careers with good progression in the Company.  
 
Throughout lockdown, our early careers teams have supported more than 1,500 apprentices providing them with a virtual learning environment to continue their training. A new remote approach to end point assessments will ensure apprentices can complete their training and transition to their first permanent roles within the Company.
 
In addition, we have recently introduced a new graduate programme, with multiple intakes through the year. Applications have remained open throughout this period and we are committed to our plan to recruit approximately 250 graduates between September this year and June 2021. We are also offering more than 60 one-year industrial placements, with successful candidates joining in September.
 
For more information about early careers opportunities visit our early careers website.
 
Ref: 053/2020
 
 

Meet some of our apprentices

 
Image of BAE Systems apprentice - Anna

Anna

Second year Information Management & Technology (IM&T) apprentice

BAE Systems Submarines
Anna joined BAE Systems as apprentice as the scheme offered her the opportunity to gain a breadth of experience through different placements within the IM&T department, whilst gaining a qualification in her chosen profession. 

Throughout lockdown Anna has been able to continue her learning and development at home with the support from the Company’s Early Careers team. Through regular engagements, she has been provided with different tasks from researching the business and its products to gaining an understanding of the different functions and the work they do. 

Alongside her apprenticeship, Anna is working towards a degree in Computing. While she acknowledges the last few months have been challenging, it has provided Anna with an opportunity to spend the final few weeks of the degree year revising and focusing more time on her assignments. 

Anna has also developed her knowledge of applications such as Visual Studio and Oracle over the past few months - skills that will support her throughout her career at BAE Systems as well as her degree. 
Image of BAE Systems apprentice - Christian

Christian

Fourth year Engineering Degree Apprentice
 
BAE Systems Air 
Christian’s degree apprenticeship consists of five years of on the job training, interlaced with day release in order to complete a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering. His first three years were spent working in different departments at the Company’s Samlesbury and Warton sites in Lancashire, before he chose his specialism in the Aerodynamics department where he will spend the last two years of his course. 

Christian is currently working in the Concepting team for Team Tempest, focusing on the computational fluid dynamics analysis of some of the airframe’s concepts. This allows the team to predict some of the key performance characteristics of the future combat aircraft more quickly and cheaper than a wind tunnel test. The next stages of his work will involve more detailed wing and fuselage design to mature some of the more promising concepts.  

Although working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging due to the technical nature of his role, Christian believes he has been able to continue his development due to the support of his colleagues and wider team.
Image of BAE Systems apprentice - Ellis

Ellis

First year Project Management Apprentice 
 
BAE Systems Naval Ships
Ellis is a first-year Project Management Apprentice, working in the Naval Ships business based in Scotstoun, Glasgow. Her current rotation sees her working in project planning for the Hunter Class frigate programme for the Royal Australian Navy. Her responsibilities include completing scheduled health checks of the project, planning reports and generally helping to keeping the programme on track. 

One of the things Ellis enjoys most about her apprenticeship programme is that no two days ever feel the same and she is regularly presented with new opportunities and challenges. Through her work on the Hunter Class programme, she has been able to work with colleagues in both the UK and Australia and feels that this knowledge transfer has been invaluable to her professional development. 

At school, Ellis knew that university was not the path for her and was inspired to apply for an apprenticeship because of the advantages of on the job learning, a competitive salary and a guaranteed job. She would encourage current school leavers not to underestimate apprenticeships and consider all the options available to them, not just higher education. 

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Ellis has been able to continue her apprenticeship from home – using remote working technology to keep in contact with the wider team and continue both her project work and ongoing studies online.