An innovative aerospace firm has been visited by Copeland's MP as part of National Apprenticeship Week celebrations.

MP Trudy Harrison, who is an apprenticeship ambassador, joined staff and apprentices for a tour of BAE System's Academy for Skills and Knowledge, in Lancashire.

The academy is equipped with the latest technology and equipment that is used to manufacture combat aircraft including Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 Lightning II.

It works to train apprentices and graduates in the company’s military aircraft business as well as providing life-long learning and skills development activities for 13,000 employees.

Mrs Harrison praised the firm, saying: "BAE Systems is one of the UK’s leading apprentice employers, the skills being taught are world class. Innovation is in everything BAE stand for, I received a fascinating insight to our defence capability and the precision engineering requirements.

She added: "The apprentices are benefiting from state-of-the-art facilities, industry expert teaching and they get to travel all over the world, graduating at the end of their course with technical and academic skills and the ability to reverse engineer, problem solve and work in effective teams."

The facilities include manufacturing technologies and factory layouts used at BAE Systems including robotics, 3D printers, a virtual reality 'cave', a composites clean room, electronics and welding facilities.

Steve Fogg, managing director shared services at BAE Systems, said: "We are very proud of our apprenticeship and graduate programmes and were delighted to show Trudy the focus we are putting into the training and development of young people for the future."