IN4.0 partners with BAE Systems on digital training programme

Seventy graduates from the IN4.0 talent academy are working with BAE Systems on digital technology projects related to areas including artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, the internet of things, robotics and automation.

The IN4.0 talent academy aims to address the digital skills gaps across Lancashire and Greater Manchester by working with employers to recruit digital talent from diverse backgrounds, creating inclusive opportunities for those who may not otherwise have access.

The 12-week specialist digital skills training programme is funded by the Fast Track Fund, in partnership with the Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS), the Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). The course is free to students and offers training and benefits worth over £6,000, including a guaranteed interview with employers.

With offices at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and the recently established digital innovation hub IN4.0 with the Landing at MediaCityUK, IN4.0 has been working with BAE Systems for over two years, having previously collaborated on IN4.0 Access, a disruptive innovation skills accelerator.

BAE Systems is supporting this new initiative by providing individual mentoring and coaching from a senior leader, guidance and advice on industrial projects from an expert engineer and insight into a career in the advanced manufacturing and technology sector.

And in response to this diversity challenge, the academy is represented by 50% women, over 50% of graduates are from a BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) background and over 25% are the first generation of their family to attend university.

Mo Isap, CEO of IN4.0 Group, said: "We are really pleased to continue working with BAE Systems, and as the developer of some of the UK’s most technically advanced defence, aerospace and security technologies, it is perfectly placed to offer our graduates valuable experience of the industrial ecosystem.

"We see an opportunity for the IN4.0 talent academy to readdress the challenge of diversity across sectors, and to empower graduates with the technical expertise and soft skills they need to enter a workplace with confidence. A combination of highly skilled talent and technology is the key to unlocking digital transformation and future proofing businesses post Covid-19, and our partnerships with regional universities and employers in the North are vital to this success."

Prof Andy Schofield, technology delivery director at BAE Systems, added: "This is a fantastic initiative that fully supports the drive to ensure that the UK has world-class design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities for the future.

"The IN4.0 talent academy provides a unique opportunity for the students to experience at first hand some of the challenges industry faces and how emerging technologies, such as additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics, robotics and automation, the industrial Internet of Things and connectivity and virtual and augmented reality are key to shaping the future."

Once students graduate from the academy, they will be qualified Amazon Cloud Practitioners and members of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). Graduates will be ‘work-ready’ with a blend of technical, engineering and personal skills so they are prepared to support businesses with adopting digital technologies.

 The next academy intake for January 2021, funded by the Department for Education, is open to those aged 19-30 from Lancashire and Greater Manchester, who have been unemployed due to the pandemic and are looking to upskill in cloud engineering and data analytics. To apply for the academy, or if you’re an employer interested in accessing digital talent, please visit:

  • For further Lancashire business news, advice and analysis subscribe to Lancashire Business View or join the LBV Hub from just £2.50 per month. Click here to subscribe now.