Inspiring and developing our people to drive success is a crucial part of our company strategy. That’s why we invest in a range of education and training opportunities, such as our apprentice scheme, to secure and nurture the next generation of talent in our business.
The outstanding achievements and contributions of our apprentices across air, land, sea and cyber are recognised through our annual UK Apprentice of the Year Awards.
This year, following a rigorous nomination and assessment process, 27 apprentices were selected to attend an awards event in Manchester. Richard Hamer, Director of Education & Skills had the honour of hosting the evening, with awards presented by Steve Fogg, MD Shared Services, Chris Boardman, MD MAI, and guest speaker Mark Thornton from the Mercedes Petronas F1 Team (and former BAE Systems apprentice).
Eight deserving apprentices were honoured for their dedication, commitment and overall excellence in various disciplines, with the evening’s top prize – UK Apprentice of the Year – going to Francesca McKenna, Maritime Submarines.
Having received the category award for Higher Apprentice, Francesca was surprised and honoured to take the 2014 title, which was presented by last year’s winner, Rebecca Wolfenden.
"I knew there was an overall award, but never gave a second thought that it would be me" said Francesca. “The scheme is absolutely fantastic. The amount of support I've had has been amazing - you don't get that in many companies. You really do get opportunities to show what you're capable of here”
Steve Fogg added: "Our Apprenticeship programme is key to developing the capability and talent we need in our business. As my favourite event of the year, it was again a pleasure to see the vast array of talent we have that comes through this programme. I have no doubt that tonight I met some of the senior leaders of the future."
Richard Hamer added. “It was an honour to be part of the judging process and awards ceremony. I continue to be impressed and awed by the talent and determination that our young apprentices demonstrate. They are the leaders of the future, and essential to our company’s success”
Congratulations to all of this year’s deserving winners. Here’s what the judges had to say:
Sam Barrett, MAI - Mechanical Apprentice of the Year
“Sam has shown himself to be a model apprentice, striving to be the best in everything he does, which has been recognised through a number of local and national awards”
Grace Park, MAI - Electrical Apprentice of the Year
“Grace is an enthusiastic individual who has an infectious personality. She overcame adversity in having to change her Apprenticeship mid-stream and demonstrated model behaviours”
Martyn Begg, Maritime Naval Ships - Fabrication Apprentice of the Year
“Martyn’s excellent performance has been duly recognised in his selection as a finalist in both local and UK Ship Weld competitions”
Alex Griffiths, MAI - Engineering Technician Apprentice of the Year
“Alex has distinguished himself in his academic studies and excelled as the leader of the winning MAI Apprentice Innovation Challenge. He is a natural role model for Apprenticeships.”
Rebekah Crolla, MAI - Operational Technician Apprentice of the Year
Rebekah has outstanding academic qualifications with 12 distinctions in every subject and is now on track for a 1st Class degree. She has demonstrated an excellent work ethic”
Beth Thompson, Maritime Submarines - Business Support Apprentice of the Year
Beth is a very determined and professional young lady who has gone above and beyond, especially in her involvement with the establishment of resource facility for employees at risk of redundancy.
Francesca McKenna, Maritime Submarines - Higher Apprentice of the Year and UK Apprentice of the Year 2014
“She consistently proves herself to be an exceptional representative of the businesses and attracts glowing feedback from all areas. Francesca’s capability and work ethic will see her go far in the business. Her communication skills and her drive single her out for special mention.”
Michael Hodgson, Maritime Naval Ships - Outstanding Achievement
Michael’s outstanding achievement was taking control of all electrical work on Centre Block 2 of the Aircraft Carrier programme, a massive responsibility for anyone. Michael embraced the challenges he faced, choosing to see them as opportunities to push himself forward and to prove himself.”
BAE Systems in the UK will be taking on 782 apprentices in 2015, the highest intake in our history and surpasses the previous record last year by 202 places.