BAE Systems sets apprentice intake record

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BAE Systems has welcomed more than 1,000 apprentices and graduates into its UK business this year, marking the largest intake in the company’s history.

This year for the first time, a group of apprentices began their training on the new aerospace and airworthiness trailblazer apprenticeship standards approved by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in March 2015.

BAE Systems will also train 32 apprentices on the aerospace engineer and aerospace software development engineer degree apprenticeships at its military air and information business. This new scheme will allow apprentices to study part-time for a foundation degree and Level 4 diploma, while gaining hands-on experience with some of the world’s most advanced aerospace technology, before going on to study for a full honours degree.

Nigel Whitehead, group managing director, programmes and support, BAE Systems, said: “We have a long and proud history of nurturing young talent and we recognise the importance of providing consistently high levels of training. Each year we invest more than £80 million in education and skills related activities to ensure we are developing the right skills to meet the future demands of our business.”

He added: “The apprentices and graduates joining our business this year have exciting futures ahead of them, and many of them will end up playing pivotal roles in developing, building and supporting cutting-edge products that will safeguard national security in years to come.”

Minister of State for Skills Nick Boles MP said: “BAE Systems has long recognised the huge value apprentices bring to its business. This record intake can look forward to high quality training and a regular wage as they set up for a rewarding career.”

Of the record 724 apprentices who joined the company last month, around half will be based at the company’s submarine design and manufacturing site in Barrow-in-Furness shipyard in Cumbria, which requires hundreds of highly skilled staff to deliver the five remaining Astute class attack submarines and to develop the new 'Successor' submarines.

More than 120 of the 292 graduates to join the company will start work within the cyber security business.