BAE Systems has revealed plans to hire approximately 700 apprentices in its air, land and maritime businesses across the UK during this year.

The recruitment plans for this year represent a 30% increase when compared to last year.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I’m delighted that BAE Systems is taking on even more apprentices in 2019, with 700 young people being given the opportunity to kick-start their careers in this world-class firm.

“Britain’s businesses have a hugely important role to play in training the next generation and themselves benefit by attracting diverse talent and improving their skills base. Through our modern industrial strategy, we will encourage even more partnerships to create high-quality jobs across the UK.”

The company noted that the apprentices will join its UK business in September.

Around 25 training programmes will provide the new recruits full-time employment opportunities while studying for a recognised qualification.

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“It is crucial that we train the next generation of engineers and business leaders to develop the necessary skills which will be needed to drive innovation.”

BAE Systems also said that nearly half of the company’s UK apprentices will be hired in the air sector at its sites in Samlesbury and Warton.

The recruits will be exposed to work on projects such as the Typhoon and F-35, as well as the development of new technologies for future combat air systems.

Currently, the company has more than 34,000 employees in the UK, with around 2,000 apprentices in training across its businesses.

BAE Systems chief executive officer Charles Woodburn said: “We are proud to be one of the UK’s largest employers of apprentices and our plan to recruit nearly 700 apprentices next year reflects our ongoing commitment to nurturing talent and developing high-end skills for the future.

“With technology becoming ever more advanced and integrated in the workplace, it is crucial that we train the next generation of engineers and business leaders to develop the necessary skills which will be needed to drive innovation, solve complex challenges and build on our position as one of the UK’s most innovative and productive companies.”