Airport to welcome new apprentices

Nigel Whitehead - Group Managing Director for Air Systems at BAE Systems.
Nigel Whitehead - Group Managing Director for Air Systems at BAE Systems.
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BAE Systems is taking on a further 48 trainees at its Aircraft Maintenance Academy based at Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster.

The new recruits will be among a record 568 apprentices taken on by the group in 2014 – 181 more than it recruited last year.

BAE Systems supports the RAF’s fast jet operational squadrons and its Aircraft Maintenance Academy was established to fill the gap created by a nationwide shortage of aircraft maintenance technicians.

Almost half of the new apprentices BAE Systems is taking on this year are going to the company’s shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, which is building five Astute class hunter-killer submarines.

They are being trained to work on a replacement for the Vanguard class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, due to enter service from 2028.

BAE Systems group managing director Nigel Whitehead said: “Our additional intake of apprentices this year reflects workload requirements at the submarines business but the number also demonstrates the fantastic contribution and value that apprenticeships bring to BAE Systems.

“Apprentices are a vital part of our talent pool and we find that our training programmes really help young people develop their full potential and become financially stable at a relatively young age.

“This is a win-win situation for our apprentices, our company and the wider economy.”

BAE Systems currently employs more than 32,000 people in the UK, and is one of the UK’s largest employer of engineers. Half of the senior executives at the military aircraft business joined as apprentices.

The announcement of its latest apprentice recruitment plans follows research by YouGov – commissioned by BAE Systems and the Royal Academy of Engineering – which revealed that public opinion regarding apprenticeships is changing rapidly, driving a boost in demand for places.

According to the research, almost half of British parents of children aged 11-18 would encourage their children to take an apprenticeship.