Why BAE Systems is opening its doors to apprentices

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A DEFENCE giant in Portsmouth is allowing companies from all over the Solent to send apprentices to be trained alongside the Royal Navy.

Businesses can now send their apprentices to BAE Systems’ Skills Development Centre at Portsmouth Naval Base – after making all its training in-house for the first time in 40 years.

Previously, though apprentices had access to hands-on training within the Skills Development Centre and by working on projects on warships and at the Naval Base, they attended college once a week for lessons and exams.

Matt Gordon, head of early careers, said: ‘It’s the first time we’ve had a fully accredited and dedicated training centre for apprenticeships since the old dockyard technical college was demolished in about 1975.

‘Not only will it benefit our apprentices to have their training in one place, but this now means we can help other companies in the local area invest in the STEM skills that are so vital for our industry’s longevity.’

Luke Fitzgerald, director of engineering firm Hythe Marine Services, says the scheme is a great opportunity.

He said: ‘It’s the best training you can get and it shows in the calibre of the apprentices.

‘The standard of training and the equipment apprentices use is way above the norm.’