Almost 1,700 apprentices and graduates from across the UK will join defence giant BAE Systems next year.
The company said this morning the creation of more than 900 apprentice and 750 graduate and undergraduate roles is the biggest intake of its kind the company has ever offered in a single year.
Most of the roles will be based in the north of England, with opportunities also available across the south of England, Scotland and Wales.
Charles Woodburn, chief executive of BAE Systems, said: “Creating high quality employment opportunities for young people across the country ensures we retain the critical capabilities we need to sustain our business for the long-term, while also helping to drive growth across the UK’s regional economies.
“Early careers employees are the foundation of our future and the diversity of skills and experience they bring enables us to continue to innovate and deliver the very best technology and support to our armed forces.”
BAE Systems said its invests almost £100m in education, skills and early careers activities in the UK annually and currently has nearly 3,300 apprentices and graduates in training across its UK businesses, equivalent to more than 9 per cent of its 35,300 strong UK workforce.
Minister for Skills, Alex Burghart, said: “It is brilliant that BAE Systems is committed to supporting our future workforce through the power of apprenticeships.
“Apprenticeships play a vital role in giving people the ability to earn while they learn, and the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow. They also give businesses access to a diverse talent pipeline, equipped with the knowledge for success in a range of professions.”
Successful candidates will work on technology programmes including Tempest, a future combat air system for the Royal Air Force, as well as the design and build of Dreadnought submarines and Type 26 frigates for the Royal Navy and help to protect critical national infrastructure from cyber attacks.
Apprentices will have the opportunity to study and gain qualifications in a range of professions, including electronic systems design, cyber security, software development, aerospace engineering, accountancy and human resources.
Achieving a diverse, inclusive and flexible workplace was vital to its future, said the company, adding that around a quarter of new joiners to the business’ early careers programmes this year were female, with 26% of apprentices coming from some of the country’s most disadvantaged areas.