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Thousands of new apprenticeships and graduate jobs announced at UK’s biggest defence company

BAE Systems is set for another record-breaking recruitment drive in 2024 with almost 2,700 new apprentice and graduate opportunities available to young people across the UK.

The Company has more than doubled its early careers intake in the past five years, making a significant contribution to the UK economy and offering more young people than ever the prospect of exciting long-term careers supporting the nation’s armed forces and security services.

Thousands of new apprenticeships and graduate jobs announced at UK’s biggest defence company

The Company’s award winning early careers schemes are vital to developing the talent pipeline needed to deliver critical national security capability. They also help to build the next generation of talented industrial leaders, with many former apprentices and graduates reaching the top ranks of the Company.

Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive, BAE Systems, said: “As the UK’s largest manufacturer, we have sites located right across the country and we’re investing hundreds of millions of pounds to equip young people with the skills they need to achieve their full potential.

“Providing high quality apprenticeships and graduate programmes gives young people a route into long-term employment and helps to grow the talent we need to deliver vital national defence and security programmes, including future fighter jets, nuclear-powered submarines and low earth orbit satellites.”

Minister for Higher Education, Apprenticeships and Skills, Robert Halfon, said: “We need big employers on side in our efforts to build a skills and apprenticeships nation and this record-breaking announcement from BAE Systems is fantastic to see.

“Apprenticeships provide a ladder of opportunity for people to get in-demand skills and really push on in their careers, and these roles offered by a top apprenticeship employer will transform lives and boost growth right around the UK.”

More than 1,400 apprentices will join the Company, with the majority of roles based in the North of England and opportunities available across the South of England, Scotland and Wales.

The Company also plans to recruit almost 1,300 graduates in 2024 – that’s 1,100 more graduate positions compared to five years ago.

With more than 60 programmes available, there are opportunities at every level, from steelwork and electrical engineering to cyber security, software development, human resources and project management. Successful applicants have the chance to work on some of the world’s most advanced technology programmes including the Global Combat Air Programme and the UK’s next-generation submarines known as SSN-AUKUS.

Megan Pearson, former Software Degree Apprentice, BAE Systems’ Air sector, said: “Embarking on an apprenticeship with BAE Systems after I completed my A-Levels helped me become financially independent, which benefitted both me and my parents. I’ve had the chance to work on a range of exciting projects and the flexibility of my apprenticeship means that I’m experiencing lots of new things and not tying myself to any one profession.

“A lot of my friends struggled with the immediate mind-set shift from school to work, but my apprenticeship provided a complete package with helpful support and guidance. It’s the ideal route for bridging the gap between school and the workplace.”

Last year, BAE Systems invested approximately £180m in education, skills and early careers activities in the UK and currently has more than 5,500 apprentices and graduates in training across its UK businesses, equivalent to more than 10% of its almost 40,000 strong UK workforce.

Achieving a diverse, inclusive and flexible workplace is vital to developing the Company’s future skills and talent pipeline. In 2023, almost a third of apprentice joiners to the business’ early careers programmes were female, significantly outperforming the industry average in of 14% in England.

The closing date for apprentice applications is 28 February 2024. There are multiple graduate intakes throughout the year, including January, June and September. Find out more and apply:

Additionally there are thousands of roles available across the UK for experienced professionals. Find out more and apply:

Early careers opportunities are just one part of the Company’s wider recruitment drive. BAE Systems is currently recruiting thousands of skilled workers from steelworkers to data scientists across the UK.

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