BAE Systems to recruit a record number of apprentices

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BAE Systems has announced that it is hiring more than 1,250 new trainees into its early careers programmes in 2021.

More than 850 apprenticeships and 400 graduate roles are available across the UK, the highest number ever recruited in a single year. Of these, around 75% of apprenticeships and more than 50% of graduate roles will be based in the North of England – providing critical employment and education opportunities in areas reliant on long-term job creation.

New recruits will have the chance to be involved in some of the UK’s most technologically advanced engineering programmes including Tempest, a future combat air system for the Royal Air Force and Dreadnought, a new generation of submarines for the Royal Navy.

Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive of BAE Systems, said: “Getting people back to work and creating high-quality jobs is a national priority. So, it’s more important than ever that those of us who are in a position to do so continue our investment in the UK workforce.

“We’re fortunate that our business is based on long-term critical defence programmes, giving us the confidence to increase our apprentice and graduate recruitment to create a strong talent pipeline, which enables us to continue delivering cutting-edge technologies, whilst playing a role in supporting the UK’s economic recovery.”

Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, said: “Apprenticeships are a great way to learn the skills needed to get ahead in a range of exciting industries including cyber security, maritime engineering and project management. As we build back better, apprenticeships will play a vital role in helping to rebuild our economy after the pandemic.

“It’s fantastic to see BAE Systems continuing to innovate and invest in apprenticeships giving more people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to progress. I encourage businesses of all sizes to follow their lead, recruiting more apprentices to help take their business to the next level.”

Asha Pickford, a first year Higher Apprentice at BAE Systems, said: “I’ve always wanted to gain hands-on experience whilst learning at the same time and I realised an apprenticeship was the best way of doing this. I joined the Maritime Services business in Portsmouth Naval Base in October and whilst the start of my training has been somewhat different to what I originally expected due to the pandemic, I’m fully immersed in my role and I’m looking forward to the exciting career opportunities ahead of me.”

BAE Systems has also committed to supporting companies that may be struggling in the current economic climate, by taking on almost 20 apprentices from other companies who were no longer able to continue with their programmes. The company is also taking part in the Government’s Kickstart scheme, enabling it to offer six-month job placements to a further 30 young people with more than 200 students due to start industrial placements or summer internships.

Almost 10% of BAE Systems' apprentices are over 25 and for those facing uncertainty in the current climate, they provide a wide range of opportunities to retrain. The company has doubled the type of apprenticeship programmes it offers to more than 50, including options to study up to degree and masters levels. Opportunities are available in a variety of roles including accountancy, human resources, electronic systems design, software development, joinery and mechanical fitting.