BAE Systems hunts 1,250 apprentices and grads

UK defence giant BAE Systems is looking for more than 1,250 new grads and apprentices as part of its biggest ever trainee recruitment drive.


Around 400 grad roles will be available, with the remainder made of apprenticeships across a wide range of roles and departments, including accountancy, HR, electronic systems design, software development, joinery and mechanical fitting. New recruits will have the chance to work on next-generation combat systems such as the Tempest aircraft and the new Dreadnought Class submarines being developed for the Royal Navy.

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“Getting people back to work and creating high-quality jobs is a national priority,” said BAE chief executive Charles Woodburn. “So, it’s more important than ever that those of us who are in a position to do so continue our investment in the UK workforce.

“We’re fortunate that our business is based on long-term critical defence programmes, giving us the confidence to increase our apprentice and graduate recruitment to create a strong talent pipeline, which enables us to continue delivering cutting-edge technologies, whilst playing a role in supporting the UK’s economic recovery.”

Around 75 per cent of apprenticeships and more than 50 per cent of graduate roles will be based in the North of England. According to BAE, its trainee scheme is not just for school or college leavers, pointing to the fact that almost 10 per cent of its apprentices are over 25. In light of what has been a difficult year for many, BAE is also taking on nearly 20 apprentices from other companies who are no longer able to continue with their own trainee programmes. Inevitably, Covid has also had an impact on how training has been conducted throughout the company.

“I joined the Maritime Services business in Portsmouth Naval Base in October and whilst the start of my training has been somewhat different to what I originally expected due to the pandemic, I’m fully immersed in my role and I’m looking forward to the exciting career opportunities ahead of me,” said Asha Pickford, a first-year higher apprentice at BAE Systems.

“I’ve always wanted to gain hands-on experience whilst learning at the same time and I realised an apprenticeship was the best way of doing this.”