200 more apprenticeships planned for Ministry of Defence engineers

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will recruit nearly 200 new engineering apprentices over the next two years, it announced yesterday.

The MoD Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) site in Bristol, which employs 7,500 staff, is looking to hire 170 more apprentices by 2012 to work on some of the UK’s “most advanced” engineering and equipment projects.

The programme, which will last three years, is designed to train recruits for engineering posts at the DE&S’s headquarters.

Leader of DE&S and chief of defence materiel, general Kevin O’Donoghue, said: “The apprentice scheme is vital to ensuring we have skilled and qualified people across a number of engineering disciplines to support our troops.

“The successful applicants will be trained to fill roles within DE&S teams that directly or indirectly support front line equipment acquisition.”

Last year the government claimed 10,000 apprenticeships would be created in 2009 thanks to the new National Apprenticeship Service, aimed to help employers provide the scheme.

The government first called for employers to offer more apprenticeships in July 2008, when the draft Apprenticeships Bill was published.

The Bill intends to make it easier for employers to offer the schemes, to help upskill the nation’s workforce in line with the Leitch Review recommendations.

The MoD recruitment drive for apprenticeships appears on social networking sites like Facebook and Bebo as well as more traditional routes including local newspapers.

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