Fareham College is celebrating the awarding of a new apprenticeship contract with BAE Systems that will see nearly 40 engineering apprentices a year pass through its Centre of Excellence for Manufacturing and Advanced Skills Training (CEMAST) at Daedalus Airfield, Lee-on-the-Solent.
A total of 37 students started life in their new home from Monday 11th September, following the end of a five-year apprenticeship contract previously delivered by Babcock Training.
From electrical engineers to welders, mechanics and pipe worker, the three-year apprenticeship programme will give students the practical skills needed to work in the world of defence engineering and manufacturing – all whilst earning money to train.
Apprentices can expect to have plenty of time working on practical projects, spending four out of five days of the week at BAE Systems’ new £2.4 million Skills Development Centre in Portsmouth Naval Base, supervised by expert BAE Systems and CEMAST staff.
Students will work in a variety of technical and highly specialised environments operated by the world-leading British defence and aerospace company. These include warship support, building services, and product research and development on defence systems such as radar and torpedoes.
According to Matthew Gordon, BAE Systems Head of Early Careers and Skills (Maritime Services, a lack of suitable dedicated training environments in the past has seen apprentices travelling to various other Hampshire sites to complete the academic side of their course.
“Having visited the CEMAST site before with some of our other young engineers it was clear what we were getting in terms of the quality of skills and knowledge there.
“Also, with the introduction of the new standards for apprenticeships coming on board – which will create even more vigorous quality standards and see new apprentices signed-off by employers – Fareham College’s teaching, price and resources appealed to us greatly.
“We look forward to working with college staff to provide a new generation of highly-qualified, skilled and capable young apprentices.”
The next intake of apprentices that will benefit from the new teaching staff and facilities from their first apprenticeship year are expected to be hired from April 2018 and in post by the following September.