The interns joined Maritime – Submarines’ engineering function for ten weeks during their summer break from university and will now join the business as direct entry graduates – making the programme a 100 per cent success.
This was the first time the summer scheme was set up in the naval architecture department to help attract new recruits. This comes as the business hopes to attract several hundred new engineers to Barrow-in-Furness next year.
Maritime –Submarines Naval Architecture Manager, David Hooper, said: “Naval Architecture is a key recruitment area for the business, so this represents a real success and we intend to repeat the scheme next year.
“In fact, it was better than 100 per cent successful because one student who turned down a summer placement with us also hopes to join our team next year, after hearing rave reviews from a university colleague.”
The undergraduates successfully applied for a placement to gain valuable work experience as well as an attractive summer salary. The six students – three studying naval architecture, a prospective marine engineer and two future mechanical engineers who worked in the Product Safety Department – quickly settled into their teams and in addition to their day jobs, were given the responsibility of representing BAE Systems in a national competition to design, build and test an electrically powered submarine demonstrator.
David said: “They did a fantastic job. They had to project manage all aspects of the design, build and test of the mini submarine and got to experience how challenging yet rewarding it is to see your innovative designs and ideas come to life.
“The BAE Systems submarine came a respectable third and was a great demonstrator for novel design ideas and manufacturing techniques – such as moulded carbon fibre for the nose cone, 3D printing for control surfaces and propeller, and laser cutting. They definitely drew on their university learning.”
The project was a key factor in encouraging all six interns, and the seventh student, to accept a direct entry graduate offer when they graduate – five of them during 2014.
Another key factor attracting them to Barrow may have been the three-day outward bound course on Windermere, where the team got a flavour of what Cumbria has to offer.
David concluded: “Some of the students hadn’t been to Cumbria before so in addition to developing their teamwork and leadership skills, they also got an appreciation of the great outdoors activities available in the Lake District – such as sailing, mountain biking, rafting and ghyll scrambling.
“I’m sure that having a taste of the work/life balance on offer helped to influence their decision to apply for permanent positions.”