BAE Systems launches drive to recruit 2,600 people

An apprentice at BAE Systems

BAE Systems plans to recruit at least 2,600 apprentices and graduates next year in a significant increase in its commitment to skills development.

Its Northern sites – Samlesbury and Warton in Lancashire and Barrow in Cumbria – will take the majority of new starters.

The positions will in roles across the business including cyber security, aerospace engineering, software development, accountancy and human resources. revealed last month how BAE Systems had 2,000 vacancies just in Cumbria, a county where skills are in high demand in a very competitive labour market.

Steve Cole, chief infrastructure officer and improvement director at BAE Systems’ maritime and land division, said it needed to fill those roles “to stand still”.

The 2023 early careers intake is expected to have around 800 people more than this year. The company said it also has “thousands of roles available for experienced professionals”.

BAE Systems invests £100m a year in education, skills and early careers activities in the UK. Around one-in-eight of its 35,000-strong workforce in the UK are apprentices or graduates in training.

The announcement was welcomed by skills minister Robert Halfon, who described it as “extraordinary”.

He said: “Apprenticeships are the catalyst to boosting the economy, building a skills nation and extending the ladder of opportunity to all.”

BAE Systems’ group HR director Tania Gandamihardja said: “Faced with economic challenges not seen in a generation, it’s essential for businesses like ours to invest in the next generation to equip young people with the skills they need to achieve their full potential and support social mobility.

“Providing high-quality early careers programmes gives young people a route into long-term employment and helps recruit the talent we need to deliver on vital national defence and security programmes, such as the Tempest next-generation combat aircraft and Dreadnought nuclear submarines.”

Around 95% of apprentice trainees complete their apprenticeship with BAE Systems and move into a full-time job with the company.