The training school used to produce the aerospace engineers of the future has received an £800,000 boost.

We have installed new machines and equipment at our Preston Training Centre to equip first year craft and technical apprentices with basic skills before they continue on to the shop floor of our sites at Warton and Samlesbury.

Recruitment underway

We began our recruitment drive for our 2014 intake of apprentices with an open day at Blackpool Football Club stadium on 9 October with consequent roadshows at Blackburn Football Club and Preston North End stadium.

Raising the bar

Bill Southam, BAE Systems workshop manager at the training centre on Marsh Lane, Preston, said the equipment would allow it to “raise the bar” further on its training.

He said: “When the apprentices have completed their first 12 months using this machinery, they will be better equipped than ever to move in to different parts of the business.

“We always strive to deliver the best training we can and this equipment will allow us to ensure the people we are sending into BAE Systems are the very best they can be.

“Apprentices have always been the lifeblood of our company which is why we continue to invest in them.”

The equipment includes new software which apprentices will be trained on to put the new state-of-the-art lathes and milling machinery to work, along with new welding equipment and materials.


We invested a £600,000 contribution for the new kit which was supported by a £200,000 Government grant due to our support for the Employee Ownership Pilot, which will see it offer its apprenticeship to youngsters who will go on to work for 11 of its supply chain companies.

The 2013 intake of apprentices got their training underway in September.

Part of our DNA

Nigel Austin, apprentice manager for our Military Air and Information (MAI) business, said: “Apprenticeships are part of our DNA at BAE Systems and you will find apprentices right to the very top of our business.

“Our MAI managing director, Chris Boardman, is a former apprentice and one of the biggest advocates of how apprenticeships give young people the right skills to do the job and a great foundation in life.

“These open days are a great opportunity for young people, with their parents, to see exactly what apprenticeship opportunities the company has to offer.”

This year’s intake are welcomed

This September, our MAI business has welcomed 83 apprentices who will train up as the engineers, project managers and business leaders of the future and were chosen from nearly 1,500 applicants.