The start of construction was marked by a ground-breaking ceremony, and coincided with a new cohort of apprentices joining our Military Air and Information (MA&I) business.

The new facility, which will be built within the Lancashire Enterprise Zone in Samlesbury, will be completed in time for the 2016 apprenticeship intake.

It will provide a flexible, modern environment allowing for better engagement with schools, as well as greater capacity for overtraining to ensure other companies in the supply chain and sector have the skills they need for the long term.

Chris Boardman, Managing Director of MAI commented:

“The ground breaking today is a significant milestone in this exciting development that will provide cutting-edge facilities and greater capacity for future apprentices joining our business.

“I am extremely proud of our apprenticeship programme and the role it plays in ensuring we continue to develop world-class skills to create world-class technology.”

Our Company's apprentice programme, which has one of the highest completion rates in the engineering sector, has a number of accolades to its name including the National Apprentice Award for the Macro Employer of the Year in 2011.

Among attendees at the event was Edwin Booth, Chairman of the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The LEP is investing hundreds of millions of pounds to transform the county, creating 50,000 new jobs, 40,000 new houses and boosting the economy by £3bn, through initiatives such as the enterprise zone at Samlesbury, which offers benefits including rate relief to businesses who move there.