BAE Systems Apprentice Programme Scoops Top Award

Richard Hamer, BAE Systems Education and Early Careers Director, collects the Macro Apprentice Employer of the Year Award from Claire Young, former BBC The Apprentice Winner. Richard Hamer, BAE Systems Education and Early Careers Director, collects the Macro Apprentice Employer of the Year Award from Claire Young, former BBC The Apprentice Winner.

BAE Systems has been awarded the Macro Apprentice Employer of the Year at the National Apprentice Awards in London, in recognition of the company’s continued commitment to apprenticeship programmes across the UK. The Macro Apprentice Employer of the Year Award acknowledges and celebrates the dedication of large employers (5,000+ employees) to developing their workforce through apprenticeships and showcasing the benefits to be gained from running apprenticeships.

BAE Systems runs one of the largest apprenticeship programmes in the UK, recruiting more than 250 apprentices a year with 95% of these being engineering apprentices and the remainder administration apprentices. With currently around 1000 apprentices in training across the UK, BAE Systems apprentices work on some of the world’s most complex and exciting engineering projects such as the new generation combat aircraft and Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers.

Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director of Programmes and Support, said:

“Winning the National Apprentice Awards Macro employer of the year is recognition of our commitment to our apprenticeships and early education programmes. This forms a key part of our skills 2020 strategy ensuring BAE Systems and the wider engineering community have the right skills to operate successfully in 2020. We value our apprenticeship programmes and believe it is the continual training and developing of talent within the company that makes our scheme so popular and rewarding for apprentices.

BAE Systems engineering apprentices spend their first year gaining core engineering skills and understanding the importance of heath and safety in the workplace. In the second year, apprentices are integrated into the business; expanding their depth of knowledge in their particular area of work. After typically three and a half years on the apprentice programme, around 50% go onto further training and 20% go onto study engineering at University. At the end of the programme, apprentices will have reached an NVQ level three and will have the opportunity to choose specific areas within their training.

Of all the apprentices that start the programme, over 80% complete successfully, a figure which has risen over recent years as the company makes continued improvements.

BAE Systems invests around £84,000 in each apprentice over the course of their three year training programme. This investment pays off with a skilled, motivated and loyal workforce. A study of 200 apprentices who had joined BAE Systems in 2002 showed, seven years on, 95% were still employed by the company

Through its Skills 2020 programme, BAE Systems invests more than £50M per annum in the UK in education and schools activity, university partnerships and training and development for employees. The company is committed to encouraging young people to take an interest in engineering, science, technology and maths and to consider a future career in these areas.

In 2010 OFSTED awarded the BAE Systems apprenticeship programme as Grade 1 - 'outstanding', in recognition of learners gaining exceptional technical and employment skills and improvements in engineering success rates.

More information can be found at: www.baesystems.com/Apprentices/index.htm

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