BAE Systems: Investing in young people beginning careers in STEM

by | Nov 9, 2021 | Best practice story

How do you inspire the next generations to work in your industry? See how 2021 Princess Royal Training Awards Winner BAE Systems, led by Head of Apprenticeships & Skills Mark Donnelly, recruited 700 plus apprentices last year, 90% aged between 16 and 25, from these excerpts I collated from Group CEO Dr. Charles Woodburn’s LinkedIn article, ‘Our commitment to young people’.

The shortage of young people beginning careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects has been well documented for many years.

And despite the challenges of the pandemic on top of that, BAE Systems recruited record numbers of apprentices.

The future of the defence sector depends upon the next generations being inspired to work in the industry.

For that reason BAE Systems place huge importance upon the continued investment in education programmes and in young people, backed by a £93M annual investment in skills delivered through work with schools, colleges and universities across the UK.

This investment aims to ensure they’re taking a leading role to ensure the UK’s engineering industry has enough people with the right expertise, skills, diversity and mindset to enable them to remain competitive on the world stage and in the post-Brexit environment.

This is particularly important in the digital age and as the UK seeks to rebuild in a post-pandemic economic recovery.

BAE Systems’ apprenticeship programme includes:

  • Supporting Engineering and Digital T Levels: a pipeline into their apprenticeships
  • Running a pilot scheme where apprentices helped support the Department for Education design Engineering T Level Industry Placements
  • Prior to the pandemic, delivering an annual engineering ‘roadshow’ to typically 100,000 young people at over 420 schools
  • This year, because they unfortunately cannot visit schools, they’ll deliver a virtual programme called ‘Coding Success’ in partnership with the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy
  • Supporting projects that challenge perceptions about engineering, like the Royal Academy of Engineering’s nationwide ‘This is Engineering’ programme, the Big Bang Science Fair, WorldSkills UK LIVE and the Arkwright Trust
  • Throughout the pandemic their 830 STEM Ambassadors found imaginative ways to inspire young people virtually using the variety of education resources that they made available online
  • Being a founding member of the Movement to Work programme which provides quality work experience for disadvantaged young people. Working with The Prince’s Trust they provided in the region of 100 work placements for the young unemployed each year
  • Supporting the Kickstart Scheme

Find out more about the fantastic work at BAE systems here.


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