Portsmouth shipyard firm to recruit 100 apprentices

JOBS BOOST The BAE ship hall. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (123674-15)
JOBS BOOST The BAE ship hall. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (123674-15)

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DEFENCE giant BAE Systems will take on up to 105 apprentices to work on its operations in Portsmouth.

The firm has announced it will recruit almost 400 engineering and business apprentices this year across its UK sites, the firm’s highest intake of apprentices since 2008. And 105 of those will be based either in Portsmouth or Glasgow.

For the first time, the apprentice roles will also include opportunities to work in BAE Systems’ Hilsea-based combat systems department.

Mark Townley is the combat systems director for BAE Systems.

He told The News: ‘There are people who once might have gone to university but now might not do but are extremely bright and capable.

‘It is a fantastic opportunity for people in the Portsmouth area.

‘We have got a long history in the area and this is opening up a new area for young people.

‘I think a lot of young people are interested in this area.’

Combat systems engineers design the brains of every ship built for the navy.

They have worked on the Type 45 destroyers, Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and will work on the navy’s upcoming Type 26 frigates.

The creation of new apprenticeships in the city comes amid fears for the future of BAE Systems’ shipbuilding operations.

The firm is in the middle of a review which could see the shipyard in Portsmouth’s naval base closed.

Group managing director Nigel Whitehead said: ‘Our continued commitment to the apprentice programme reflects the sustainable position of our UK business and the success of the programme in generating BAE Systems’ workforce of the future.

‘We like to train people from an early age and find that the combination of on-the-job training and academic study without debt is a great motivator for our apprentices to stay with us.

‘We look forward to welcoming our new intake in September.’

For details on BAE Systems’ apprentice vacancies, visit baesystems.com/apprentices.

Applications close on February 28 for the majority of roles available.