Three Barrow-based apprentices were among the winners at BAE Systems’ UK Apprentice Awards 2019.

Held during National Apprenticeship Week, the annual awards were presented at a ceremony at The Queens Hotel in Leeds.

The event recognises the talent and potential shown by those starting out in their careers at BAE Systems.

Technical operations apprentice of the Year was Robert Armstrong, who joined BAE Systems Submarines in Barrow in 2015 and is now a senior commissioning engineer.

Rob said: "I feel proud to work for BAE Systems because the Barrow site delivers a product which is so unique and complex and which the Royal Navy use in such extreme environments."

David Anderson, submarines engineering manager for BAE Systems Submarines, said: "I have worked with Rob throughout his apprenticeship and since.

"He has always been highly proactive, focused and helpful to others which has led him to gaining respect within the department beyond his years.

"Rob has a bright future ahead of him within the department and business."

Jake Dewhurst, who is now a senior project engineer at BAE Systems Submarines in Barrow, was recognised in the outstanding achievement category.

He achieved success within his apprenticeship while also being a full-time carer for his mum, Angela.

Jake said: "I've really enjoyed my three-and-a-half years working for BAE Systems in Barrow. It's been an excellent opportunity and I'd definitely advise people to consider a career with the company."

Declan Knowles, now a senior operations engineer, was named as higher apprentice of the year.

He said: "I wanted to work on advanced engineering programmes in the defence sector. BAE Systems was a natural place for me to be."

The awards also recognised employees who began on apprenticeship schemes and have gone on to provide excellent service.

The excellence in trade award winner from the submarines business was Rowland Moscrop, who began his career as an apprentice caulker in 1978.

Steve Fogg, managing director of shared services at BAE Systems hosted the ceremony.

He said: "We are fortunate to employ some of the best talent in the industry, and our business is no doubt enriched by their continuing hard work and enthusiasm. The BAE Systems Apprentice Awards let us celebrate the great work and endless curiosity provided by so many outstanding employees.

"This year, I am so proud to have extended our celebration with a new Excellence in Trade Award. This has recognised three employees who started their working life as apprentices and who have delivered a consistently high level of professionalism in their chosen trade, throughout a long career with us.”

BAE Systems invests approximately £90m per year in education, skills and early careers activities in the UK and currently has around 2000 apprentices in training across its UK businesses at any given time, with roughly 95 per cent securing permanent roles each year.

This year, BAE Systems announced plans to recruit nearly 700 apprentices across its UK business, marking a 30 per cent increase on the previous year.

Locally, BAE Systems Submarines will be recruiting 280 apprentices, higher apprentices and graduates this year.