People & Skills  

Soaring success for BAE's new apprenticeship pilot

BAE's innovative new apprenticeship scheme has been hailed as a triumph following a crucial open day earlier this week to promote the programme to interested supplier companies
 Around 50 young people are expected to benefit

Around 50 young people are expected to benefit from the programme, receiving a prestigious three-year apprenticeship in engineering from BAE before joining a company which supplies components or services to its military aircraft business or submarine design and building operations.

A multitude of supplier companies interested in the scheme attended a conference at BAE’s Apprentice Training Centre in Preston on Monday where the 50 apprentices will be trained from September 2013.

Representing Regal Precision Engineering, one of the supplier companies who attended the conference, Steve Lee commented:

“Regal is not alone in finding that the major constraint in business growth is the lack of skilled people. This initiative seeks to address the problem by creating a generation of talented machinists for the manufacturing sector.”

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Working in conjunction with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), BAE has already been awarded £1.4 million to fund the scheme, which will be augmented by the Group’s own funds and resources.

UKCES announced back in September 2012 that £165 million would become available under an Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot aiming at creating thousands of jobs for young people now and in the future.

BAE Group Managing Director, Nigel Whitehead added:

“This pilot scheme is a win-win situation. Supplier companies with more limited resources can access first-class training programmes and facilities, while larger businesses take responsibility for developing the specific skills they need to grow and sustain their business, and with it their supply chains.

“I am confident that the pilot will be successful and in time, we can extend this scheme to other parts of the UK.”

BAE’s apprenticeship in engineering has one of the highest completion rates in the engineering sector, with almost 1,000 participants currently working towards gaining the qualification. A recipient of the National Apprentice Award for the Macro Employer of the Year, apprentice training forms a cornerstone of BAE’s Skills 2020 programme, ensuring the UK has the right skills to remain competitive and operate successfully on the world stage over the next decade and beyond.

On average, BAE annually invest more than £83 million into the UK’s education and schools activity, university partnerships and training and employee development.

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