BAE Systems will launch a new academy to train apprentices for fighter jet maintenance

BAE Systems to launch aircraft maintenance training academy

Defence giant BAE Systems is to build a new £5m academy for training apprentices to work in maintenance and servicing of fighter jets.

The facility, to be based at Humberside Airport, will take on 60 apprentices a year and create more than 150 new jobs over the next three years.

Named after RJ Mitchell, an early 20th century British aeronautical engineer who designed the Second World War Supermarine Spitfire aircraft, the aircraft maintenance academy will act as a nationwide hub to train apprentices for the maintenance and servicing of UK fighter jets and to support BAE System’s international customers.

The site will include a hangar, aircraft workshops and classrooms, and will be equipped with a training aircraft.

"The need for BAE Systems to establish a capability to support our armed forces has never been greater as we export our products in line with Government policy and are committed to supporting the products and the nations who buy them, as our allies,” said Martin Blaze, BAE System’s director of aircraft maintenance and support.

"This academy gives us the opportunity to develop the individuals to the highest level of competence to ensure safe operations. We also anticipate that BAE Systems personnel from places such as Saudi Arabia and Oman will also come to this facility to be trained to then return to work in their country, which will be a huge feather in the cap of all concerned."

The training programme, concluded with a NVQ level three qualification, will take two years to complete. The 60 apprentices will be divided into four cohorts with one coming from the Humber University Technical College (UTC).

The programme will incorporate practical training at RAF Coningsby, RAF Marham and RAF Valley, on Typhoon, Tornado and Hawk jets respectively.

Paul Litten, commercial director at Humberside Airport, said: "This prestigious development further underlines the importance of the airport to the region and will give a much needed boost to the growing requirement for aviation engineers."

The academy will be supported through the Regional Growth Fund.

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