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SAMLESBURY, UK - 2 MARCH 2016. BAE Systems building at Samlesbury Aerodrome

BAE Systems to hire record number of trainees for future-forward programmes

Image credit: James Copeland/Dreamstime

Aerospace firm BAE Systems has announced it will be hiring a record number of new trainees across the UK in what they have described as a ‘national priority’.

More than 850 apprenticeships and 400 graduate roles will be available across the UK next year – more than half of which will be based in the north of England in a boost for the government’s aim to ‘level up’ the regions. Many of those recruited will work at its hubs in Barrow, Preston, and Blackburn.

According to the company, new recruits will have the opportunity to be involved in programmes including Tempest, a future combat air system for the Royal Air Force, and Dreadnought, a new generation of submarines for the Royal Navy.

“Getting people back to work and creating high-quality jobs is a national priority,” said Charles Woodburn, chief executive of BAE Systems. “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.”

He added: “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.”

BAE Systems said it has recruited around 20 apprentices from other companies who were no longer able to continue with their programmes. The company is also taking part in the government’s Kickstart scheme, which will enable it to offer six-month job placements to a further 30 young people as well as recruiting more than 200 students for industrial placements or summer internships.

According to BAE, the Tempest programme will focus on delivering a capable, flexible and affordable combat air system by the mid-2030s, and is set to join the RAF fleet from 2035, replacing the Eurofighter Typhoon. The endeavour is also hoped to be a beacon to attract engineers and technicians, and a place for young people to build their careers.

Meanwhile, BAE is working as part of the Dreadnought Alliance alongside partners Rolls Royce and the Submarine Delivery Agency to deliver the Dreadnought programme.​ The Dreadnought is set to replace the existing Barrow-built Vanguard fleet when they begin to enter service in the early 2030s.​

Richard Hamer, the company’s human resources director for education and skills, said: “These are areas that are more economically challenged and where we need to invest in new skills.”

The decision to hire new and existing talent comes despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In July, the CV-Library recruitment site said the number of ​​​UK engineering vacancies plummet​ed in the second quarter of 2020 due to the pandemic.

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