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BAE Systems recruiting hundreds as part of investment in skills

BAE Systems is recruiting hundreds of UK engineers, technologists and scientists as part of its Skills 2020 strategy.

BAE Systems recruitment drive is part of the company’s Skills 2020 strategy, launched last year, which aims to ensure the defence manufacturer has the skills required to operate effectively in the UK into 2020 and beyond.

Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director, Programmes & Support at BAE Systems said: “According to the UK Commission for Employment & Skills, 45 per cent of new UK jobs over the next decade will require a background in science, technology, engineering and maths. Action needs to be taken if this target is to be met. Through our Skills 2020 programme we will ensure we have the right skills to meet our customers’ and the nation’s needs.”

Whitehead told delegates at the company’s Skills 2020 debate that BAE Systems spends £79 million per annum in skills investment, and it wasn’t a “trivial” matter for the company.

The debate provided a forum for engineering institutions and businesses to discuss what skills are needed and how to address the UK’s skills shortage.

Whitehead said the company took the skills issue “very very seriously”. “You can’t just go down to a job centre and get the next chief engineer of Typhoon”, he said.

BAE Systems has already recruited more than 60 graduates with a science, engineering, technology and maths background this year to support the growth of BAE’s cyber and intelligence business. An additional 90 graduates are scheduled to start in the next couple of months with another 200 to be recruited in 2012.

In the company’s submarine business at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, a further 200 skilled engineers and project managers are sought to work on the design and build of the successor submarine to the Vanguard Class which is currently scheduled to enter service in 2028. In May 2011, the UK Government gave approval for the early design phase for the submarine programme, leading to the current recruitment drive for additional electrical, mechanical and structural engineers and naval architects.

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