Research commissioned by BAE Systems has found that young people have a strong preference towards their local community when it comes to looking for their future career, with the vast majority (86 per cent) of 16-24 year olds surveyed saying they want to secure a job close to where they live.

The research also found that more young people would now consider an apprenticeship. Other key priorities for young people for their future careers include having a job that makes a difference in the world and long-term job opportunities

As well as a strong desire to remain local, young people are also thinking about choosing career paths which are best suited to them, with many considering that apprenticeships offer the best option. Almost three quarters (73 per cent) said they would consider an apprenticeship, an increase of 7 per cent when compared to the previous year.

BAE has more than 50 apprenticeship programmes and is recruiting more than 900 apprentices across the UK. There are opportunities available in Scotland, Wales, the North and South of England, with many of these roles located in some of the UK’s most economically challenged regions.

Young people “optimistic” about career prospects

Despite the pandemic, the research found that more than two-thirds (71 per cent) of young people are optimistic about their future career prospects, with more than half (53 per cent) of those feeling confident that they will secure a job they find interesting and more than a third (35 per cent) believing there are now more job opportunities available to them in the current job market. Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of young people now place more importance on their career and are motivated to work for a company which offers long-term job opportunities (36 per cent) and the chance to continue their learning and development (36 per cent).

82 per cent was to work for organisations that “make a difference”

Making a positive contribution to society also rates highly, with the majority of young people (82 per cent) wanting to work for an organisation which has a clear purpose, with more than a quarter (26 per cent) looking to pursue a career that makes a difference in the world. When asked about the sectors they believe make the most positive contribution to society, healthcare (55 per cent), education (51 per cent) and science (37 per cent) scored highly, while one in five (21 per cent) also value the efforts of the defence industry in supporting the UK armed forces.

Richard Hamer, Education and Skills Director at BAE Systems, said: “It’s encouraging that so many young people are considering apprenticeships. By providing opportunities for young people in regions across the country to gain qualifications while they work, apprenticeships can play a vital role in supporting social mobility and the Government’s Levelling Up agenda. Our programmes equip young people with the skills and knowledge required to set them up for a successful and rewarding career with the opportunity to do important work, delivering programmes and equipment which will help to protect the UK for decades to come.”

Tej Naidoo, a third year Technical Apprentice at BAE Systems’ Electronic Systems business, said: “When I left school I knew I wanted to stay close to home and hit the ground running in my career, so an apprenticeship with the company was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

“I enjoy getting hands-on, technical experience and my apprenticeship gives me this, as well as the opportunity to apply the skills I learn straight away. I would definitely urge others to consider taking an apprenticeship route; there’s no better way to develop your skills and launch your career.”

BAE Systems is set to hire almost 1,700 apprentices and graduates across the UK this year. The creation of more than 900 apprentice and 750 graduate and undergraduate roles is the largest intake of early careers roles the company has offered in a single year.

The apprentice recruitment window is open until 28 February, for more information, click here.


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