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SCHOOL-LEAVERS in Portsmouth will be among 75 new apprentices recruited by defence and security firm QinetiQ.

The firm, which has a base in Haslar, Gosport, has announced its new recruits will be added to its team within the next 12 months, and it will also take on people straight from university.

They will be in addition to the 109 already in place on QinetiQ’s four-year programme centred at the company’s training facility at MoD Boscombe Down, Wiltshire.

The firm said it was extending its training programme in order to inspire a generation of young engineers, scientists and technologists.

QinetiQ Group human resources director, Dave Bradley, said: ‘We want to find the raw talent that is out there. We want to attract those who are interested in a bright future but also a career which really can make a difference.

‘Our apprenticeship scheme is star quality.

‘After the Olympics, there is a great feeling about British excellence and we are determined to continue to contribute to that.

‘The UK has always been a centre for innovation and QinetiQ is playing a key role in maintaining this.’

The core parts of QinetiQ’s apprenticeship courses are avionics and mechanics, as well as manufacture and maintenance.

And while the national average pass rate for apprenticeships is 75 per cent, the success rate at QinetiQ is 95 per cent.

Mr Bradley added: ‘The QinetiQ way is all about teamwork and pulling together. QinetiQ apprentices need that motivation and strong ethos of delivery together with a great blend of intellect and practical skills.

‘We want the brightest and the best.’

The QinetiQ’s apprenticeship scheme has been running since 1969. Recently, 21 apprentices were honoured in a graduation ceremony at QinetiQ.

As well as approaching school -eavers, QinetiQ has also announced it is attending the National Graduate Fair at the Birmingham NEC on November 2 and 3.