More than 100 apprentices, including several from the Ribble Valley have taken their first steps into one of the country’s leading training programmes.
The new starters have joined the apprenticeship programme at defence firm BAE Systems, which could see them follow in the footsteps of some of the business’s directors who also began as apprentices.
The 67 new employees, made up of 45 engineering and 22 business apprentices, have now started at the Preston Training School.
For the first time this year, they will be joined by 20 apprentices being trained by BAE Systems for companies in its supply chain as part of a new Employee Ownership Pilot (EOP) scheme.
A further 16 apprentices started a Project Management Higher Apprenticeship on the award winning Project Control Foundation Scheme at the company’s Warton and Samlesbury sites.
BAE’s Apprentice Capability and Development Manager Nigel Austin said: “I was delighted to welcome a record intake of Apprentices for MAI as well as our first intake of apprentices from a number of advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Companies in the North West, who will be trained alongside our MAI Apprentices.
“We are justifiably proud of our multi award winning Apprentices and Training Programmes, and I am confident that the 2013 intake will make the most of the fantastic opportunity which they’re about to embark upon.
“The very best of luck to them all.”
The EOP new starters will undertake their first year of training at the training school before going out to 11 companies, many of whom supply BAE Systems’ military aircraft business in Lancashire and submarine division in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
Ian Oakes, a director of the mi Technology Group based in Leyland, said the pilot will give the testing, engineering and contract manufacturing supplier a chance to tap into expertise available.
“The pilot scheme gives us the opportunity to take advantage of utilising state of the art facilities and the expertise of BAE Systems staff,” said Ian.
The new starters have been picked from more than 1,500 applicants for the apprenticeships. Among them are Jessica Beet and Ben Farnsworth from Clitheroe and Emily Trickett from Whalley.