New training academy to provide apprentice opportunities

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A new £5m BAE Systems National training academy is to be built at Humberside Airport.

And it will provide up to 60 apprentice opportunities every year resulting in over 150 new jobs over three years.

Senior officials will turn the first sod to mark the start of work this Friday, October 24, at Humberside Airport’s first ever BAE Systems graduation event, where around 70 people will be presented with awards.

There will also be a special ‘Spitfire’ fly-past.

The development is a joint venture between British multinational defence organisation BAE Systems, Humberside Airport, Resource Group’s Aviation Technical Training Division and North Lincolnshire Council.

“This exciting development will help raise the profile of engineering as a career path for young people and provide fantastic opportunities,” said Coun Liz Redfern, Leader, North Lincolnshire Council.

“Work on the new Humber University Technical College (UTC) is well underway and will also specialise in engineering, so the two projects will complement each other.

“It is great news that the new Training Academy will provide Humber UTC students with apprenticeship opportunities. “Together with expansion plans at the Airport with the new luxury hotel, this is the perfect location for the Training Academy. It will further reinforce our belief that North Lincolnshire is a great place to invest and learn.

“I am delighted the council can play an important role in the increasing demand in the engineering sector and in attracting more people to the area.”

The National Academy, set to be supported through the Regional Growth Fund, will become the UK’s central hub for BAE Systems to train apprentices for the maintenance and servicing of UK fighter jets and to support International Export contracts.

Modelled on Resource Group’s existing state-of-the-art training facilities, the new Academy will incorporate a hanger, training aircraft, classrooms and practical training workshops. Resource Group will be providing a totally managed service including assets, facilities, training and accommodation.

BAE Systems will take on up to four cohorts of 15 apprentices (60 in total) each year, on a two-year apprenticeship, who will be trained to NVQ level three. It is planned to include one cohort directly from the Humber University Technical College (UTC).

They will follow a 24-month programme split between academic modules and on-the-job practical training, usually at RAF Coningsby (Typhoon), RAF Marham (Tornado) or RAF Valley (Hawk).

Once qualified, they will become part of the BaE Systems team, working alongside the RAF in supporting the fast-jet fleets at RAF Conningsby and RAF Marham. The trainees are mobile and flexible and could transfer to bases abroad to support International Export programmes.

The Training Academy will be named the ‘R J Mitchell Aircraft Maintenance Academy’, after Reginald Mitchell, who started his successful career as an apprentice in Nottingham. He went on to become a British aeronautical engineer, designing around 24 aircraft, including the famous World War 2 fighter – Supermarine Spitfire, arguably the predecessor of today’s fast jets.

The graduation ceremony is a major event. Hosted by BAE Systems, the Aircraft Maintenance and Support Awards will recognise and reward apprentices and professional and executive staff who have attained academic achievements. BAE Systems will also recognise individuals who have excelled in their performance in their particular discipline. Various trophies, certificates and special awards will be handed out at the event, including apprentice of the year, functional awards, and technician of the year.

From December 1, apprentices will be based at a temporary base at the Airport. The new Academy will be completed by October 2015. Hull based company, Gro Houlton Construction, will build the new Academy.

The Training Academy will further support growth at the Airport. This includes expansion of the existing Nightel Hotel to accommodate the apprentices. And just last week, North Lincolnshire Council gave the go-ahead for a new £7m 100-bed luxury hotel to be built at the Airport, creating around 60 new jobs – demonstrating further major investment at the Airport.

For details about how to apply for the apprenticeships, visit www.baesystems.com/careers-rzz/careers-in-the-uk/apprenticeships.