Throughout this week we have been introducing some of our apprentices and graduates to give an insight into some of the opportunities available across our Maritime and Land businesses.
July 30 2020
I first applied for an internship at BAE Systems because it had some really cool projects. I was lucky to join the Land UK business, with projects ranging from the manufacture of munitions to working with the development of state of the art technologies.
Another highlight was when my team nominated me for BAE Systems’ Graduate of the Year award for operational excellence and I won!
, Graduate Engineer, Land UK
There have been so many highlights and moments that have helped develop my career. I was transitioning into my second placement when I was asked to support a big project with the first team I worked with; that was when I realised how much knowledge I’d picked up and the trust my team had in my work. Another highlight was when my team nominated me for BAE Systems’ Graduate of the Year award for operational excellence and I won!
I work best when I’m busy; I am a STEM ambassador and am on our graduate council. Taking on additional opportunities has helped me to develop extra skills which I’ve found useful.
I’ve been very lucky with the support and valuable career advice I’ve had from my managers and mentors, who are senior members of the business. For example, they suggested a secondment with a client organisation to better understand how they operate to develop the skills I would need to become an engineering manager. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend BAE Systems to anyone wanting a fulfilling, exciting career.
July 29 2020
July 29 2020
Project Management Degree Apprentice
SHE'S gone from serving behind a pharmacy counter to helping produce world-class nuclear submarines for the Royal Navy.
Former retail Assistant Manager Kym is forging a new career as a Higher Apprentice with BAE Systems Submarines in Barrow.
The 29-year-old made the switch 18 months ago because she was looking for a challenging role and the chance to progress her career, but also the flexibility to spend time with her four-year-old daughter.
Studying for a Project Management Degree Apprenticeship at the Barrow site offers all of that, and more. The academic requirements she needed were the A-Levels she had achieved 10 years previously.
I'm so pleased I made the decision, I've really enjoyed it and I feel I'm making good progress. With a Higher Apprenticeship you're able to study for your degree, and the Company pays for it.
Kym, from Barrow, says: "I'm so pleased I made the decision, I've really enjoyed it and I feel I'm making good progress.
"With a Higher Apprenticeship you're able to study for your degree, and the Company pays for it."
Working flexible hours from Monday to Friday, and with weekends and holiday periods off, Kym is able to combine a flourishing career with a fulfilling home life.
She says: "I enjoyed my previous role in retail, but there was little chance to progress, and I was working long hours and weekends.
"Now I'm being given the opportunity to experience different functions within the Submarines business. It's really eye opening and I can spend weekends, and times like Christmas, with my daughter."
At work, Kym is one of nearly 200 Higher Apprentices who each spend time with different functions within the submarines business. The rotation help establish where they will be best utilised as full-time employees.
Kym says: "I've spent time with Governance and Assurance, Site and Facilities and with the submarine programmes.
"Being a little older helps me appreciate how much more BAE Systems offers than other employers. It's an opportunity I'm taking with both hands."
July 28 2020
July 28 2020
Project Management Graduate
Surface Training, Maritime Services
Alice is a Project Management Graduate currently working within Surface Training as part of the Training Services Group based at our Broad Oak site.
Alice reflects on her first 22 months of the graduate scheme and how one of the many projects saw her travel as far as Adelaide Australia, the home of the Hunter Class Frigate (HCF).
“Working with fellow graduates, we developed a proposal for the implementation of a digital dockyard which recommended new technologies and ways of working to revolutionise the infrastructure for the HCF. As a result of this project and the network I built from the people I met, I was lucky enough to go to Australia to get a taste of the project taking shape.”
Alice has also experienced first-hand what it is like to work alongside our customers and industry partners when one of the Royal Navy’s largest platforms, HMS Queen Elizabeth, arrived in Portsmouth for her first Capability Insertion Period.
Working with fellow graduates, we developed a proposal for the implementation of a digital dockyard which recommended new technologies and ways of working to revolutionise the infrastructure for the HCF. As a result of this project and the network I built from the people I met, I was lucky enough to go to Australia to get a taste of the project taking shape
, Project Management Graduate, Maritime Services
“I had the pleasure of hosting two days of surveys on-board with over 20 stakeholders from Babcock, the MoD, the ACA [Aircraft Carrier Alliance], QE Ships Staff, and international manufacturers. It was fantastic to be even a small part of the huge collaborative effort to generate the nation’s Carrier Strike Group.”
Alice has attended the quarterly graduate forums which provide an opportunity to network with other colleagues and to learn more about different areas of the business from senior business leaders who are invited along as guest speakers.
Alice speaks about an opportunity that arose from her meeting the Maritime Services HR Director, Cal Leonard, at one of the graduate forums. They are currently working together to reinvigorate the company’s Reverse Mentoring Programme.
“This piece of work aims to create a unified workplace and bridge generational gaps. Since Reverse Mentoring partnerships are comprised of someone early in their career mentoring an experienced executive, it is another opportunity for graduates to get exposure to senior leaders and have their views heard.”
If you’ve been inspired by Alice and Guy’s stories, visit our Apprentice pages for more information on how you could join our team.
July 28 2020
July 28 2020
Type 26 Frigate Support Engineer
Guy, currently a Type 26 Frigate Support Engineer based in Filton, has also been a part of a wide variety of projects and has been involved with the partnership between BAE Systems and UK Sport.
“The partnership with UK Sport was really exciting – we were working against tight time frames to develop really innovative solutions for athletes ready for the Tokyo Olympics. As a graduate, I was responsible for the project engineering management of the programmes and had to deal with some challenging events that cropped up over the development cycle."
July 27 2020
July 27 2020
Project Management Higher Apprentice
Combat Systems, Naval Ships
Luke is in his third year as a Project Management Higher Apprentice with BAE Systems. Currently working in the Combat Systems part of the business, Luke is delighted to have just completed the foundation degree level of his course and reflects on how much he has learned and the opportunities an apprenticeship gives you.
“I first found out about BAE Systems when researching UK companies who provide Higher Apprenticeships. I always knew an apprenticeship was the way I wanted to learn – studying whilst being hands-on within a business.”
It has to be the work we did to support our presence at the international trade show in London, DSEI (Defence & Security Equipment International). I remember walking around the show thinking “This is so cool and surreal! I’m an island boy, so what we do blows my mind!
, Apprentice, Naval Ships
Inspired by his Dad’s jewellery manufacturing business in Bali, where Luke grew up and where he worked for several months after leaving school, he was keen to study Project Management. “I loved my time working with my Dad in his business and it sparked my interest in getting to know all the different aspects and workings of a business.”
After finishing boarding school in England, Luke applied to the BAE Systems Higher Apprenticeship scheme and has enjoyed two different placements so far in the business. “My current placement in the Autonomy team of Combat Systems is definitely my favourite. I still can’t believe how much I have learned in this last eight months in particular. The engineers I work with are brilliant – the more they explain, the more I know and learn, the more personal it feels and the more invested I am in what we are doing.”
As a Project Management Higher Apprentice, Luke’s responsibilities include drafting project proposals, costing effort and materials, risk recording and monitoring and managing key project monitors and stakeholders. Luke’s exceptional work in supporting the Autonomy team recently won him a Student of the Year Award from the Association for Project Management.
Luke’s time as a Higher Apprentice has been a busy one but he is clear on the highlight so far: “It has to be the work we did to support our presence at the international trade show in London, DSEI (Defence & Security Equipment International). I remember walking around the show thinking “This is so cool and surreal! I’m an island boy, so what we do blows my mind!”
Luke has two years left of his Higher Apprenticeship and starts the next phase, his Batchelor of Arts Honours degree in Portsmouth University this September. “Its hard work but I can’t wait to see how I develop even more in my career and see where the profession takes me. I am going to continue to take every opportunity to learn, be involved and speak to people.”
“I tell everyone, all my friends, even the ones currently at university, to get yourselves on an apprenticeship course! They are such a great way to learn. I feel so fortunate to be part of BAE Systems, it’s a really big organisation, but whatever you are interested in you are guaranteed to find something that will interest you here!”