BAE Systems has announced plans to recruit nearly 700 apprentices across its UK business in 2019.

Its South Cumbria base in Barrow will have 235 apprenticeships on offer, to start in September.

The new recruits will join the air, land and maritime businesses and will embark on one of 25 training programmes.

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 kickstart 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.”

Charles Woodburn, chief executive officer at BAE Systems, 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.” Kimberley Scott, 27, is an apprentice pipefitter in her third year at BAE Systems Submarines' Barrow site.

Born in the town, Kimberley's first placement was working on the forward end construction of the sixth Astute class submarine, Agamemnon.

She then spent two weeks working alongside quality control and is now based in a facility where the company tests and commissions the engine room modules for the submarines before they are transported to the giant Devonshire Dock Hall for assembly.

Kimberley said: "My ambitions are to successfully complete my apprenticeship and become a valuable member of the pipe working team in my department.

"I am also aiming to become a commissioning engineer, bringing submarine systems to life and testing them.

"The new Submarines Academy for Skills and Knowledge in Barrow offers apprentices training on modules and mock ups before they go to their first placement, this allows them to develop skills and gain confidence.”

BAE Systems says it invests around £90 million a year in education, skills and early careers activities in the UK and has around 2,000 apprentices in training across its UK businesses at any given time, with about 95 per cent securing permanent roles each year.