BAE Systems has joined forces with Cranfield University to create a new post-graduate engineering apprenticeship programme which will provide learners with a valuable Masters-level qualification.

The first cohort of 76 engineers from BAE Systems will begin the academic element of their Level 7 apprenticeship programme on 8 January 2018, undertaking modules including design-driven innovation, operations management and cost engineering. Modules will be carried out alongside the graduate engineers’ day-to-day roles within the business.

34 of the 76 apprenticeships are focused on Air (other opportunities lie in Land, Electronic Systems and Maritime) and are open to engineers at BAE Systems bases in Warton, Samlesbury, Christchurch, Yeovil, Brough as well as some RAF bases.

Teaching will be delivered entirely online, through a combination of interactive video sessions with Cranfield’s academics and remote online learning platforms to so students don’t have to take time off work. On successful completion, the apprentices will obtain a Post-Graduate Diploma in Engineering Competence – a key step towards reaching the Chartered Engineering (CEng) accreditation.

This supports BAE Systems’ contribution to the 2018 Year of Engineering, in which the company is joining forces with government and industry to give thousands of young people direct experience of engineering to help tackle the skills gap and widen the pool of young people who join the profession.

Cranfield University is one of only five UK universities to have a strategic partnership with BAE Systems and is the first university in England to deliver Masters-level apprenticeships.

Christian Balan was one of the first students to begin the level 7 apprenticeship with BAE Systems. He stated, “Having already completed a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Imperial College London, I was looking for something that would further develop and hone my skills whilst pursuing a structured development framework towards the CEng accreditation. The post-graduate apprenticeship scheme with BAE Systems and Cranfield University immediately felt like the right fit for me, offering a wider variety of modules and learning opportunities in areas adjacent to standard engineering subjects.

“The modules available to me will also help bring me closer to my ultimate goal of achieving a Chief Engineering qualification with Royal Aeronautical Society, for which a wider range of technical skills and competences should be complemented by an accountable, well-rounded engineer.”