Most exciting time in decades to take apprenticeship

The deputy principal of Furness College says this year heralds one of the most exciting times in decades to become an apprentice after BAE Systems officially opened its Submarines Academy for Skills and Knowledge.

Mark Nicholson welcomed the new £25million training facility at BAE Systems Submarines as a brilliant opportunity for the young people of the town to carve out careers in a world-class environment.

Mr Nicholson said the Academy, which officially opened last month, was an innovative step forward and will ensure students will benefit from company-specific skills training once they have completed the first year of their apprenticeship at Furness College.

He said the college will continue to work in close partnership with BAE Systems to deliver apprenticeship training.

“The Submarines Academy ensures there is seamless progression for Furness College students as they move through their apprenticeship into their careers with BAE Systems,” he said.

“The facilities are complementary and apprentices will continue to train at the college’s Channelside campus. This is a once in a lifetime investment in skills with £50million invested at Furness College and £25million by BAE Systems. It’s great news for the town and for future apprentices who will have access to these outstanding combined facilities.”

The college, in Barrow, opened an Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Centre in 2016 to meet the growing demand for highly skilled workers. Last year it was named Cumbria and the Isle of Man’s ‘Building of the Decade’ in a competition run by BBC’s North West Tonight. Students use the £4m facility to develop skills on real-life projects as well as academic study. It has room for up to 450 higher education students and 1,150 apprentices on science, technology and engineering apprenticeships.

At nearly 8,000m2, BAE Systems’ new Submarines Academy for Skills and Knowledge provides a bespoke learning environment for the almost 1,000 craft and technical apprentices that are currently in training. These include those in mechanical, steelwork and electrical disciplines.  It also serves as a training centre for its wider workforce.

Academy Principal Janet Garner said: “The Academy for Skills and Knowledge is a flexible and modern environment that accommodates large numbers and allows for greater engagement with the local education provision. The Academy is a beacon for collaboration of industry, innovation and academia and hosts an abundant opportunity for our future workforce. Beyond a facility, the Academy houses progressive resources that are hardwired to productivity, through simulation of the end to end process, equipping the workforce to deliver the product and provide quality assurance.”

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