BAE Systems is offering a range of exciting career opportunities at its Submarines business and with it the chance to support a truly national endeavour at the very forefront of British engineering.   

With a current workforce of more than 11,000, the business is seeking to recruit an additional 2,000 people this year, as well as a planned intake of 800 apprentices and graduates to support the design and build of submarines for the Royal Navy.

One of its latest recruits is Rhianne Foster, who worked in hospitality for 16 years before moving to Cumbria with her family and switching careers to take up a degree apprenticeship in Project Management at BAE Systems.

She explained: "The apprenticeship route offers the chance to try many areas of the business before finding the perfect role for me.

"My apprenticeship involves going to university one day a week to build my knowledge around project management, as well as working in the business three-and-a-half days-a-week.

"Getting the opportunity to go on the submarines and learn about them is probably the most exciting part. I also love that I get to meet so many different people and learn about them and their role in the business."

Rhianne, who is 33 and has three children, is earning while she learns a new role and works towards a valuable qualification.

In Cumbria: Project Management Degree Apprentice Rhianne Foster at BAE Systems SubmarinesProject Management Degree Apprentice Rhianne Foster at BAE Systems Submarines (Image: BAE Systems)

It has been a revelation, with Rhianne admitting: "If I had known about this first time around, I would have saved a lot of money in university fees."

That theme of women switching careers and being able to 'earn while they learn' is repeated across BAE Systems’ Submarines business.

In the shipyard's £25m Submarines Academy for Skills and Knowledge, Faye Cubiss is an Apprentice Caulker. She found out about the opportunity while working as a caterer on the Barrow site and will now be part of the team gouging and preparing steel as part of the submarine fabrication process.

Faye, 35, said: "I was on the Barrow shipyard site working in catering and got talking to some of the people here about what they did.

"I read up on burning and grinding. I knew I wanted to do something that kept my hands busy. I didn't want to just stare at a screen the whole time."

Faye is completing her apprenticeship alongside a number of other women who have also decided to train as a caulker.

She said: "It's continuous learning and I'm enjoying it, there's always someone on hand to guide you and offer support.

"You're looked after from the minute you're offered the job. I've really noticed the difference in how much help you get."

Rhianne and Faye, working in very different disciplines, are just starting out on their careers in BAE Systems Submarines. Both are immensely proud of working for a business that plays such a vital role for the Royal Navy.

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