BAE Systems is currently training an unprecedented 2,036 apprentices across its UK-based defence and security businesses - equivalent to around six per cent of its 34,000 UK employees.This is the largest ever number in the Company's history, surpassing an original target to train 2,000 apprentices in 2018. In addition, BAE Systems announced plans to recruit an additional 574 apprentices to join in September 2017.
The figures reflect the need for a continuous pipeline of highly skilled employees trained by the Company in-house; particularly to work on two concurrent submarine programmes at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria. This year 293 apprentices will join the Barrow shipyard to work on the new Dreadnought class submarines and the four remaining Astute class submarines. Both types of submarine are destined for the Royal Navy with work on the Dreadnought programme expected to continue well into the 2030s.
The number of apprentices in the business also reflects the value of apprentices' contribution to BAE Systems' UK businesses overall and the continued success of the apprentice training scheme. The majority of UK apprentices are being trained specifically for engineering related roles and undergo three-and-a-half to four year training programmes. Many apprentices also progress to study Bachelor's and Master's degrees and the Company is now also able to offer direct entry onto new degree apprenticeships, which last four to five years.
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