During the visit the Prime Minister spoke to current and former apprentices in the company’s Typhoon Final Assembly Facility. He saw for himself the work the apprentices do to support production of the multi-role fast-jet fighter and was also shown the company’s latest developments in the field of unmanned air systems.
BAE Systems has one of the largest apprentice programmes in the UK, with around 1000 apprentices in training at any time on three year, high skill-based programmes. There are currently 223 apprentices at Warton and Samlesbury: 129 in engineering; 22 in business administration; and 72 ‘higher’ apprentices in project management. The company is recruiting 275 apprentices across the UK to start in September this year – 43 at Warton and Samlesbury.
Commenting during his visit the Prime Minister said: “I think this is a really brilliant manufacturing company. It has got great technology, great expertise and it is exactly the sort of business we want to see in Britain because we want to create worthwhile jobs for people.
“I want young people to have the chance to learn a skill and that is why the government has put 1.5bn pounds extra into the apprentices system and we want to see that grow. This is a great example here of what we would like.”
Ian King, Chief Executive of BAE Systems also commented: “BAE Systems believes that apprentices are vital to maintain the skill base of the company; they bring with them fresh thinking that keeps us at the forefront of industry. We are delighted that we have had the opportunity to showcase to the Prime Minister the part apprentices play in building aircraft at the UK’s leading military aircraft facility.”
Lauren Nuttall, who completed her craft apprenticeship just 18 months ago, escorted the Prime Minister around the Typhoon Final Assembly Facility. Lauren commented: “It’s not everyday you get to meet the Prime Minister – I was nervous but excited at the same time. He asked me what I do here and took a real interest in our apprenticeship scheme. It made me really proud.”
BAE Systems, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 6YU, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384719 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 383947