BAE Systems plans to recruit more than 800 apprentices in the UK in 2020 – the highest number ever recruited.
The new recruits will join one of more than 25 apprenticeship programmes across its air, maritime, land and cyber divisions, benefitting from tailored schemes that combine recognised qualifications with on-the-job training.
The majority of the new apprentices will join the firm’s air or maritime sectors where they will work on some of the most exciting and nationally important programmes in the UK. This includes developing future combat air technologies for the Royal Air Force and working on the Dreadnought programme – a new generation of submarine for the Royal Navy that will replace the current Vanguard class.
Charles Woodburn, chief executive, BAE Systems, said: “Our apprentices are the lifeblood of our business. I’m incredibly proud of the significant contribution they make to the design and delivery of our most complex products, equipment and services, helping to ensure we remain at the forefront of technology and innovation and safeguard our national security for decades to come.
“As technology and our workplace evolves, it’s critical that we continue to invest in training the next generation of engineers and leaders. By working alongside industry peers, government and the education sector, we can ensure we are ready to respond to complex challenges of the future.”
Gavin Williamson, secretary of state for education added: “It is absolutely brilliant that BAE Systems offers such a huge range of high-quality apprenticeship opportunities. These apprenticeships will be a great way to pursue exciting and rewarding careers in aviation, maritime and cybersecurity and will offer the chance to work on some of the UK’s most innovative and vital national programmes.”
Khadijah Ismail, an engineering degree apprentice in BAE Systems’ air sector, said: “There are many benefits to undertaking an apprenticeship, from gaining years of credible, on-the-job engineering experience, to some that are more personal. For example, helping me to more confidently offer my views in the workplace.
“Most significantly, my apprenticeship has allowed me to work alongside and learn from senior engineers and leaders from across our business. The opportunity I have to interact with different people and the exposure I have to a wide range of experiences is undoubtedly helping my development and shaping my future career prospects.”
BAE Systems invested more than £100m in education, skills and early careers activities in the UK in 2018 and have around 2,000 apprentices in training across its UK businesses at any given time, with around 95 per cent securing permanent roles.
Currently employing more than 34,000 people in the UK, BAE Systems is one of the country’s largest employers of engineers, with around 66 per cent of staff employed in engineering or engineering-related roles.