BAE Systems are hiring more than 1,250 new trainees into their early careers programmes in 2021. More than 850 apprenticeships and 400 graduate roles are available across the UK, the highest number they have ever recruited in a single year, despite the ongoing pandemic.
Around 75% of apprenticeships and more than 50% of graduate roles at BAE Systems are 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 exciting and technologically advanced 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 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.”
As part of their commitment to do everything they can to support young people at this time, they have recruited almost 20 apprentices from other companies who were no longer able to continue with their programmes. They are also taking part in the Government’s Kickstart scheme which will enable them to offer six month job placements to a further 30 young people and are recruiting more than 200 students for industrial placements or summer internships.
BAE Systems apprenticeship programmes aren’t just for school or college leavers; almost 10% of their apprentices are over 25 and for those facing uncertainty in the current climate, they provide a wide range of opportunities to retrain. They have doubled the type of apprenticeship programmes they are offer 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.
BAE Systems apprenticeships are externally recognised – rated Ofsted Outstanding. They were named in the Department for Education’s list of Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers. In November, they also won the Macro Employer of the Year award in the National Apprenticeship Awards.
Throughout the pandemic, BAE Systems teams have worked hard to ensure their apprentices could continue their training, using a new virtual learning environment. Virtually all end point assessments due this year were completed on time, enabling apprentices completing their training to take the next steps in their careers with the Company.