New 2.8m apprenticeship pilot for Lancashire

Businesses in the aerospace sector are set to benefit from a new apprenticeship pilot spearheaded by BAE Systems.

The defence giant has acquired £1.4m in government cash, and will match the funding with its own investment.

Any company in the BAE Systems supply chain which works with the Warton, Samlesbury or Barrow factories will be able to send their employees to the BAE training centre in Preston.

It is expected to be a huge boost to smaller firms without in-house facilities who will now be able to take advantage of the latest training techniques on the newest machinery.

Candidates will earn three-year apprenticeships in engineering before joining a company which supplies components or services to its military aircraft business in Lancashire or the company’s submarines design and building facility in Barrow.

The scheme will train 50 apprentices from September 2013 and is backed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

Nigel Whitehead, group managing director at BAE said: “This pilot scheme is a win-win situation. Supplier companies with more limited resources can access first-class training programmes and facilities whilst larger businesses take responsibility for developing the specific skills they need to grow and sustain their business, and with it their supply chains. I am confident that the pilot will be successful and in time, we can extend this scheme to other parts of the UK.”

BAE Systems spends £83m per year in the UK on education and schools activity, university partnerships and training and development for employees and currently has 1,000 apprentices in training.