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BAE Systems hires record number of apprentices for Glasgow shipyards

apprenticesBAE Systems is to hire a record number of young people to work on the next generation of warships in Glasgow.

In a move that will be welcomed across the political, industrial and trade union spectrum, the company has announced it will hire 173 “early career positions” at the shipyards.

The company said it will give young people in the city the chance to work on the “brains” of the Royal Navy’s next generation warships for the first time.

The new Combat Systems Technical Apprenticeship will focus on the design, development and integration of state-of-the-art naval combat systems, which crew members in modern warships depend on to operate effectively.

The eight new Combat Systems apprentice roles means BAE Systems’ Naval Ships business is now recruiting a record 173 early careers positions in Glasgow alone this year, including 121 apprentices and 34 graduates, as well as 13 paid industrial placements and five paid summer internships.

Mick Ord, managing director, BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: “We’re really pleased to launch this new apprenticeship programme in Scotland, which builds on our existing engineering and production training programmes and is another indication of how important apprentices are to the long-term future of our business.

“To operate effectively in the world’s most difficult and dangerous environments, our defence customers depend upon the men and women who design, develop and integrate their combat systems. This is complex technical work, but we’re really encouraged by the calibre of young people increasingly choosing an apprenticeship as a viable and rewarding alternative to university.”

Combat systems includes IT infrastructure, data interrogation and analysis, weapon maangement, integration software applications, and complex electronic equipment such as communications and sensors.

The new apprentices will join one of Scotland’s largest early careers programmes, which covers a wide range of skills needed for the design, build and delivery of complex warships and their combat systems through a combination of college education and workplace training. This includes Engineering Technician Apprentices who will be involved in the platform design of ships, as well as operational roles such as welders, fabricators, electricians and plumbers.

To help attract the most talented and diverse applicants, BAE Systems is developing new and more flexible ways of working for all its employees, as well as investing in new technology and facilities to become a world class naval engineering business.

The company has introduced ‘Visualisation Suites’ where the successful applicants can immerse themselves in virtual reality to inspect warships, such as the Royal Navy’s new River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels and future Type 26 Global Combat Ships, before they have even been built.

In addition to its existing work experience programmes, an initiative has been launched especially for young women to explore the wide range of opportunities available within the Naval Ships business.

Across the UK, BAE Systems will be taking on 782 apprentices this year, the highest intake in its history.  The new recruits will work across 16 of our aerospace, security and defence sites around the UK and join our Company in September 2015.

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