HUGE DEMAND: Thousands apply for apprentice scheme at BAE Systems

Apprentice week: Minister Nick Boles meets apprentices at BAE in Preston
Apprentice week: Minister Nick Boles meets apprentices at BAE in Preston
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An apprentice scheme at BAE Systems has seen 2,500 people apply - 15 applications for every one place.

The scheme, which has 140 places, launches in September and apprentices will be recruited at its sites in Warton and Samlesbury, near Preston, Brough, near Hull and Yeovil, Somerset, including some who will ultimately work with companies throughout the region. And the aerospace giant revealed 21 engineers and manufacturing apprentices have moved in to 12 companies throughout the region following a year of training at BAE Systems’ training school in Preston.

There’s never been a better time to start an apprenticeship with over two million starting an apprenticeship since 2010.

Nick Boles

Yesterday the Government’s Skills Minister Nick Boles visited BAE’s training school in Marsh Lane, Preston as part of National Apprentice Week 2015.

Nathan Chase, a project engineer who works for the company’s Military Air and Information business (MAI) took the Minister through some of the work he undertook as part of his apprentice scheme. The 23-year-old, from Newton-with-Scales, near Kirkham, recently completed a higher apprenticeship in project control where he earned an honours degree in project management. He now works in the Company’s Infrastructure and Investment Services team.

During the visit to the BAE Systems’ Preston Training Centre the Minister was shown how to use the latest equipment including 3D printers and state-of-the-art machinery identical to that used to machine parts for fighter jets including the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Following this visit the Minister was taken to the Typhoon Major Units manufacturing line at the Company’s site in Samlesbury, where he took a look at the facility which makes parts for the Eurofighter Typhoon, the fighter aircraft flown by the RAF and air forces across the globe.

Minister Nick Boles said: “Nathan has today shown me just how far an apprenticeship can now take you. From project-managing the production of multi-million pound aircraft to gaining a degree in aerospace engineering, the apprentices at BAE Systems really are on the fast-track to a great career.

“There’s never been a better time to start an apprenticeship with over two million starting an apprenticeship since 2010.”

Nathan Chase said: “It was great to meet the Minister and to be able to show him the variety of programmes and opportunities that are available through the apprenticeship scheme at BAE Systems. The experiences I gained as an apprentice have given me the best start to my career I could have hoped for with on-the-job training coupled with a university degree. Now, I am working on projects which will help future generations of engineers at BAE Systems to produce world-leading products.”

In September 2015, the company’s MAI business will take on more than 140 new apprentices who will be trained on world-leading products including Typhoon and the Hawk jet trainer, the ‘flying classroom’ used by air forces across the globe to train pilots for the front line.

BAE Systems will also be training up a number of apprentices for aerospace companies across the North West as part of the Employer Ownership Scheme, which has seen it train more than 30 youngsters who have now gone in to workplaces across the region.

For the first time the company is offering a Higher Apprenticeship qualification in engineering which has attracted more than 400 applications to join the September intake. The Higher Apprenticeship is a five-year scheme which enables apprentices to earn an honours degree in either Aerospace Engineering or Aerospace Software Development.