Creating the engineers of the future

British Aerospace’s £20m Academy for Skills and Knowledge (ASK) at Samlesbury has welcomed 50,000 visitors, delivered more than 250,000 learning hours and welcomed more than 1,000 schoolchildren in its first year.

Nigel Davis BAE

The impressive figures were revealed by ASK’s principal Nigel Davies at a Lancashire Business View networking event held at the academy.

He also spoke of the academy’s plans to expand its work with Lancashire’s SMEs as part of its mission as a “demand-led and inspirational learning place.”

He said: “We have a strong commitment to support other businesses; our supply chain and SMEs.”

The 80-strong audience at the event also heard about ASK’s work to get children aged as young as five interested in engineering.

Nigel said the academy was working with schools and teachers in Lancashire and explained: “We are trying to inspire the next generation of engineers.”

He also spoke of the success of BAE Systems’ apprenticeship programme – with 25 applicants for every apprentice place.

ASK was officially opened in December 2016 to train the aerospace and defence group’s future workforce and provide life-long learning for its employees.

So far more than 550 apprentices, graduates, industrial placement and interns have been through the academy.

It has also welcomed visitors from India, Turkey, Malaysia, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates, USA and Australia as well as trainees from Saudi Arabia.

The Lancashire Business View event was held to launch the January/February edition of the magazine and was sponsored by Boost Business Lancashire: the county’s Business Growth Hub.

A panel of employment law and HR experts also gave their advice on a number of subjects to the audience in a question and answer session hosted by publisher Richard Slater.

Victoria Mitchell of Farleys Solicitors, Steve Smith of Anthem, Stacey Turner of CG Professional and Matthew Finley of Donald Race & Newton spoke on a range of topics from key areas of law change to employee engagement strategies.

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