BAE Systems to open up more apprenticeship jobs in Portsmouth

BAE Systems Portsmouth apprentice Harrison Finch and Norman Croft, trade trainer.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (123083-585)
BAE Systems Portsmouth apprentice Harrison Finch and Norman Croft, trade trainer. Picture: Allan Hutchings (123083-585)
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Defence firm BAE Systems is to take on 38 apprentices to join work on its operations in Portsmouth.

It will be a bumper year for BAE’s apprentice recruitment scheme in 2014, as they take on a record 568 apprentices across the country.

But more than half of the roles are at the submarine yard in Barrow-in-Furness, where BAE is building seven new Astute-class attack submarines for the Royal Navy.

Each Astute class sub weighs 7,000 tonnes and costs between £747 million and £1,160 million to build.

BAE Systems has this afternoon confirmed that in Portsmouth, 38 apprentices will be required to join the warship maintenance and servicing business.

In Scotland, there are 62 opportunities available with the firm’s shipbuilding operations in Glasgow.

Other roles will go to the company’s electronics arm in Rochester, its combat vehicles station in Telford, and munitions factories in Cheshire, Tyneside and South Wales.

Group managing director Nigel Whitehead said: ‘Apprentices are a vital part of our talent pool.

‘Our additional intake of apprentices this year reflects workload requirements at the submarines business but the number also demonstrates the fantastic contribution and value that apprenticeships bring to BAE Systems.

‘This is a win-win situation for our apprentices, our company and the wider economy.’

Positions start in September 2014 and last 42 months, with an average salary of around £14,000 and a guaranteed job at the end.

It comes after the November announcement by BAE that it would be closing its shipbuilding operations in Portsmouth, with the loss of around 940 jobs.

City leaders, unions, and workers, have protested the decision.

BAE Systems has two main arms to its Portsmouth operation – shipbuilding and maritime services.

As reported in The News, it is the shipbuilding division which is looking to pull out of Portsmouth and move its operations to Scotland.

The maintenance and repair arm will remain.