More than 150 young people start their careers within our military aircraft division.

The intake includes 97 engineering and business apprentices and 20 higher apprentices who have begun training at our training school in Preston and our sites at Warton and Samlesbury, with a further 53 university graduates starting a separate programme.

The search for next year's intake begins

The new recruits arrive as we begin our search for next year’s intake of apprentices with a series of roadshows which started last week at Blackpool FC’s Bloomfield Road stadium.

Learning new skills

The engineering apprentices now begin a 12-month training programme which will see them learn skills including machining, electrical engineering and computer-aided design, while the business apprentices will learn skills including project management, administration and customer service.

Apprenticeship ticks all the boxes

Engineering apprentice Anne Pilkington, 25, from Penwortham, arrived on the programme having secured a university degree and started her own business making ceramics.

She said: “I found that I didn’t really like working on my own, so I thought about how to transfer the skills I had to work as part of a team.

“This apprenticeship ticked all the boxes.”


Lee Williams, 26, of Freckleton, said the opportunities to work overseas was a part of the attraction in an apprenticeship.

He arrived having worked in a window manufacturing business in Blackpool and previously attempted to make it as a professional golfer.

He said: “My parents both work for BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia, so I know what the business is about.

“I have been out to Saudi to visit them and play golf, so I have seen the opportunities there are out there and that was part of the appeal of an apprenticeship with BAE Systems.”

What's next?

Following their initial training, the majority of the apprentices will go on to work in engineering and machining roles behind fighter aircraft including the Eurofighter Typhoon and Hawk jet trainer, both used by air forces including the RAF.

The business apprentices will head into placements in departments including finance, procurement and commercial.

Getting apprentices ready for the world of work

Bill Southam, workshop manager at the Preston Training Centre, said the engineering apprentices would also be given training in entering the workplace.

He said: “It is getting them ready for the world of work outside the training school, we need to ensure they are familiar with the way things happen.

“Our aim is to ensure they can leave the first year of their training, familiar with both the technical skills and softer skills they need to succeed.”


We are hosting a series of roadshows in a bid to attract new talent who will start in our apprenticeship and graduate programmes next September.

They will be held on the following dates:

  • Thursday October 9 - BAE Systems Brough - 4:30pm-7:30pm;
  • Tuesday, October 14 – Blackburn Rovers Football Club – 4pm-8pm;
  • Tuesday, October 21 – Preston North End Football Club – 4pm-8pm.

These events will be attended by former apprentices and our early careers team to talk with youngsters about the possibilities of a career within the business.

For further details, visit our apprenticeships webpages.