BAE Systems is to create more than 850 apprenticeships and 400 graduate roles across the UK in 2021.

The new posts represent the highest number ever recruited in a single year, despite the ongoing pandemic. Around 75 per cent of apprenticeships and more than 50 per cent of the graduate roles will be based in the North of England – providing critical employment and education opportunities in areas reliant on long-term job creation. New recruits will have the chance to be involved in some of the UK’s most technologically advanced programmes including Tempest, a future combat air system for the Royal Air Force and Dreadnought, a new generation of submarines for the Royal Navy.

‘Creating high-quality jobs is a national priority’

BAE Systems’ CEO Charles Woodburn, said: “Getting people back to work and creating high-quality jobs is a national priority. 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. 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 has also recruited around 20 apprentices from companies who were unable to continue with their graduate programmes. The company is also taking part in the Government’s Kickstart scheme which will enable us to offer six month job placements to a further 30 young people and we are recruiting more than 200 students for industrial placements or summer internships.”

Apprenticeship programmes open to job changers

The apprenticeship programmes are also open to job changers with nearly 10 per cent of the company’s apprentices are aged over 25 offering those facing an uncertain future the opportunity to retrain. The number of apprenticeships on offer has now been doubled to more than 50, including options to study up to degree and masters levels. Opportunities are available in a variety of roles including accountancy, human resources, electronic systems design, software development, joinery and mechanical fitting.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Apprenticeships are a great way to learn the skills needed to get ahead in a range of exciting industries including cyber security, maritime engineering and project management. As we build back better, apprenticeships will play a vital role in helping to rebuild our economy after the pandemic. It’s fantastic to see BAE Systems continuing to innovate and invest in apprenticeships giving more people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to progress. I encourage businesses of all sizes to follow their lead, recruiting more apprentices to help take their business to the next level.”

BAE Systems’ apprenticeships have been rated by Ofsted as Outstanding and the company is named in the Department for Education’s list of Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers. In November, the company won Macro Employer of the Year award in the National Apprenticeship Awards.

Throughout the pandemic, apprentices have continued their training, using a new virtual learning environment. Virtually all end point assessments due this year were completed on time, enabling apprentices completing their training to take the next steps in their careers with the company.

Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter