“Apprenticeships work” – that’s the message BAE Systems is celebrating during this year’s National Apprentice Week, taking place on the 5-9 March.
BAE Systems has organised a range of activities for its apprentices to get involved in, ranging from talking with senior business leaders to volunteering in the local community.
Apprentices at BAE Systems Air are always keen to encourage careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and often support educational schemes and programmes. Recently, a ‘Make It Challenge’ was hosted at the company’s Academy for Skills & Knowledge in Samlesbury, which saw local schools taking part in an exciting workshop, guided by apprentices and graduates. The winning school, Ribblesdale, will take part in a grand final later in the year.
BAE Systems is one of the UK’s largest employers of apprentices, with 2,000 apprentices in training, representing six percent of the workforce. Offering apprenticeships at every level, including degree and Masters apprenticeships, in fields such as engineering, manufacturing, aircraft maintenance, project management, business administration and cyber security, the company has decades of experience delivering top-class early career opportunities.
In 2018, BAE Systems will hire more than 650 apprentices across the UK with its Air sector of the business welcoming over 120 apprentices. Richard Hamer, Director of Education & Skills at BAE Systems, explains the vast benefits that apprentices bring to the company, as well as individuals and the wider community: “With practical training, paid-for academic study, a salary, mentoring and development support, and real job opportunities at the end of the programme – the benefits of our apprenticeship programmes to our apprentices are clear. They earn while they learn, achieving sought-after qualifications without building up debt and go into a meaningful role that offers career progression and opportunity to complete further qualifications.
“Apprenticeships work for the business too. They build the specialist skills we need to compete effectively and meet future work requirements. They create a more diverse workforce and help create our leadership pipeline – many of our current Directors first joined the company as apprentices.”
BAE Systems’ investment in skills has a positive impact on the wider economy. Training helps its workforce to be almost 80 percent more productive than the national average and for every 100 jobs created, a further 380 jobs are supported in the economy as a whole. BAE Systems apprenticeships also help support social mobility. Last year 18% of apprentices who joined the company came from the 20 most economically deprived areas of the UK.