Young would-be engineers could be set to see their careers take off in 2020 after BAE Systems said it plans to take on more apprentices that ever before.
The hi-tech employer said it is planning to recruit more than 800 apprentices in the UK.
The new recruits will join one of more than 25 apprenticeship programmes across the company’s 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 are needed for either the 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 to replace the Vanguard class.
Charles Woodburn, chief executive, BAE Systems, said: “Our apprentices are the lifeblood of our business.
I’m incredibly proud of the contribution they make to the design and delivery of our most complex products, equipment and services, helping to ensure BAE Systems remains 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 the complex challenges of the future.”
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.”
The breakdown of vacancies available across the UK by business is:
• Submarines – 348
• Air – 246
• Naval Ships – 72
• Maritime Services – 58
• Applied Intelligence – 46
• Electronic Systems – 20
• Land UK – 18
• Shared Services – 4
The breakdown of vacancies available across the UK by region:
• Scotland - 63
• South Cumbria - 331
• North West - 200
• South East - 133
• South West - 14
• Yorkshire and Humber - 68
• Other - 3
BAE Systems manages its own sought-after apprenticeship training programmes and its apprenticeships have been rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
In recent years the Company has led sector-based employers by chairing the Apprenticeship Trailblazer Group, designing new apprenticeship standards and assessment plans.
The majority of BAE Systems apprentices train for engineering related roles and undergo a three to four-year training programme, with many progressing to study Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.
The business also offers direct entry onto a range of degree apprenticeships.
Anticipating future resource needs, the Company continually evolves its apprenticeship offering.
This year, for the first time, the business has launched a Software Engineering Apprenticeship, with successful applicants undertaking a Level 4 Apprenticeship in the subject.
The new cohort will start in April 2020.
The Company has recently invested in two Academies for Skills & Knowledge to train and develop its employees across the UK.
The first academy was opened in Samlesbury in 2016 to support its Air sector and in the first two years of operation, more than 100,000 people used the £15.6m facility.