Our recruitment focus is on the next generation to replace the skills and experience we are losing as our aging workforce retires, to mitigate science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills shortages, and to accelerate diversity within our leadership.
We have strong and deep relationships with education providers globally to promote STEM and other subjects.
As an international defence, aerospace and security company working in over 40 countries, we need our employees to understand the culture, language and needs of our customers.
BAE Systems values the skills and expertise that military veterans and reservists can bring to the business. We actively recruit veterans and reservists and enable them to use their expertise doing mission-based work that suits their experience and supports our business. In the UK, BAE Systems was one of the first major employers to sign the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant, to demonstrate our advocacy and support to the Armed Forces. In the US business, we encourage our employees and candidates to self-report their veteran status. This self-identification process indicates that military veterans represent approximately 16% of the BAE Systems, Inc. workforce, and we actively encourage recruiting new hires who have a military background.
We support our ex-armed forces employees by offering help integrating into our business and the community and counselling services, if required. We also support a number of veterans’ charities which provide veterans and their families the help they may need.
Graduates and apprentices
We are investing in developing the next generation of BAE Systems employees. Our apprenticeship and graduate programmes aim to attract a new generation of talent to help our company grow, innovate and compete. In the UK we have circa 2,000 apprentices and 500 graduates in training at any one time, representing approximately 7% of the UK workforce. Most of these Early Careers employees will be trained in engineering roles and will have the opportunity to enhance their skills, knowledge and behaviours, learning how to develop cutting edge defence, aerospace and security technologies.
In the US, we continue to sponsor championship events with FIRST Robotics, engaging young people in exciting, mentor-based programs that build STEM skills, inspire innovation and develop communication and leadership skills. In addition, the US business continued to invest in the National Math and Science Initiative including its College Readiness Program, to support more consistent access to high-quality education for students of military families.
For graduates and undergraduates, we offer tailored opportunities that provide technical training and development through placements, mentoring and further education. We sometimes find our graduate schemes are oversubscribed, especially in countries where they may be a shortage of engineering roles. We are continuing to invest in these positions so that we can secure some of the brightest minds to support work in our business.
Movement to Work
BAE Systems is a founder supporter of Movement to Work, an employer-led initiative to tackle youth unemployment in the UK. It offers four-week placements to provide practical experience for unemployed 18-24 year olds, many of whom go on to become apprentices, find employment or return to education.
Each year we provide work experience placements and employability skills training to 98 young people who are not in education, employment or training. Since 2014, we have provided 497 placements and 308 young people have gone into employment with the Company, another local employer or have gone on to further education as a direct result of the programme. Where possible, we link placements to job vacancies or apprenticeships to create sustainable employment – so far 132 of the 308 have secured an apprenticeship with BAE Systems. We also encourage our suppliers to sign up to the Movement to Work initiative themselves; helping them to deliver high quality work training opportunities in their own business to provide opportunities for the communities in which they operate.
We do this through a number of ways. We run roadshows in schools – such as the UK Schools Roadshow, delivered with the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, we help deliver STEM curriculum material in schools, or provide scholarships to technical colleges, and sometimes even run bootcamps on a particular technical field, like microelectronics.