200 apprenticeships at BAE

Posted on 6 Feb 2010 by The Manufacturer

BAE Systems, the UK’s biggest manufacturer, has launched its new apprentice recruitment campaign, which aims to place 200 apprentices across the UK.

BAE Systems is recruiting 200 apprentices across the UK, with opportunities for 70 traineee engineers across the Surface Ships business in Portsmouth and Govan in Scotland.

The company, which has about 107,000 employees in over 100 countries, invests over £40 million in learning and development across its UK businesses every year and has recently developed new training centres at its sites in Portsmouth and Govan to support apprentice development.

The recruitment drive represents a reverse of fortunes for BAE Systems’s apprenticeship programme, as recruitment in parts of the business took a hit during 2009. In December 2008, for example, BAE Submarine Solutions was looking to take on 500 apprentices to fulfill the Astute Class nuclear submarine programme. The financial crisis, then recession, and uncertainty over budgets curtailed this and the final number of new recruits was far smaller.

To support the latest intake, around £500,000 has been invested to transform an existing building at Portsmouth Naval Base into a dedicated training centre with capacity for up to 100 trainees at any one time. The new training centre, opened this week, features modern classroom facilities and work stations that replicate elements of a warship, allowing apprentices to train in a safe and ship-realistic environment.

Alan Johnston, managing director of BAE Systems Surface Ships and a former apprentice, said: “Our apprentices are an integral part of our business. Our investment in their skills helps us to develop the continuous pool of engineering talent that we need to keep growing and innovating.

“In return, anyone joining our scheme can look forward to an exciting career helping to design, manufacture and support the most advanced warships in the world – and there really are no limits to how far you can go.”

Wendy Fry, apprentice and adult training manager at BAE Systems, said: “We had an overwhelming response to our apprenticeship programme last year and with our continued investment in the training and facilities available to our apprentices, we’re confident of the same again in 2010.

“We’re now accepting applications via our website, so I would encourage anyone who has an interest to take a look – it could be the start of a very rewarding and exciting career.”

BAE Systems operates one of the biggest apprenticeship schemes in the UK, with over 1,100 young people currently in training. The business is recruiting craft and technician apprentices, with the opportunity to combine practical experience with academic learning. A wide range of engineering training routes are on offer, including joinery, pipe work and steel work, as well as design engineering, combat systems engineering and test and commissioning.

Apprentices joining BAE Systems’ Surface Ships division might work on some of the most complex modern warships delivering enhanced capability to the Royal Navy, including the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier, the biggest and most powerful warship ever to be built in the UK.

To apply for an apprenticeship at BAE Systems, go to: www.baesystems.com/apprentices