The announcement comes as Prime Minister David Cameron continues to urge businesses across the country to take on apprentices to stimulate economic growth through manufacturing, exports and infrastructure. The expansion of BAE Systems' 2013 apprentice recruitment programme is testament to the vital role apprentices play in the Company coupled with the growing demand among young people for viable alternatives to university. Almost 10 per cent of the new recruits will join the five-year Higher Apprentice Programme which combines invaluable on-the-job training with the opportunity to study degree-level qualifications, free from tuition fees.
The UK's largest employer of engineers
The newly-recruited apprentices will work across BAE Systems’ numerous sites, joining a workforce of 35,000 at the UK’s largest employer of engineers. One hundred and forty-four young people will join the submarine-building business at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria with a further 105 needed at the Company’s ship-building and naval support sites in Portsmouth and Glasgow.
The military aircraft business at Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire and its aircraft maintenance academy at Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster, Yorkshire require a total of 109 trainees and the Rochester-based Electronics Systems business in Kent is recruiting 12 young people.
Following a successful inaugural apprenticeship year, the Company’s cyber security business BAE Systems Detica, has confirmed that it will be recruiting apprentices for the second year running, with 10 individuals joining the Leeds office in September. Finally the munitions-production business is recruiting four apprentices to work at its sites and the BAE Systems’ Regional Aircraft at Prestwick in Scotland is recruiting three young people.
Apprenticeship scheme rated 'outstanding'
In any year BAE Systems trains between 800 - 1,000 apprentices on its three year apprenticeship programmes. The scheme, which has one of the highest completion rates in the engineering sector, was rated Grade 1 – ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED in July 2010. BAE Systems won the National Apprentice Award for the Macro Employer of the Year in 2011. In addition one of the company’s ex apprentices, Jenny Westworth, is currently the National Apprentice Champion of the Year – a title which involves spreading the word about apprenticeship.
Workforce of the future
BAE Systems' Group Managing Director, Nigel Whitehead said: “Our continued commitment to the apprentice programme reflects the sustainable position of our UK business and the success of the programme in generating BAE Systems’ workforce of the future. We like to train people from an early age and find that the combination of on-the-job training and academic study without debt, is a great motivator for our apprentices to stay with us. We look forward to welcoming our new intake in September.”
Apprentice training is a key element of BAE Systems Skills 2020 programme, which represents the Company’s commitment to ensuring it has the right skills to remain competitive and operate successfully in the UK over the next decade, into 2020 and beyond. BAE Systems invests c£80M per annum in the UK in education and schools activity, university partnerships and training and development for employees.
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