AROUND 50 apprenticeship jobs are to be created at BAE Systems' Hillend base next year.

The defence giant is set to boost its apprentice and graduate jobs by 40 per cent, hiring more than 2,600 new-starts across the UK in 2023.

BAE said the announcement reinforced the company’s commitment to invest in the next generation, equipping young people across the UK with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.

It is expected that a total of 48 apprenticeship posts will be up for grabs in West Fife as well as two undergraduate roles and one graduate position.

Tania Gandamihardja, group director of human resources at BAE Systems, said: “Faced with economic challenges not seen in a generation, it’s essential for businesses like ours to invest in the next generation to equip young people with the skills they need to achieve their full potential and support social mobility.

“Providing high-quality early careers programmes gives young people a route into long-term employment and helps recruit the talent we need to deliver on vital national defence and security programmes, such as the Tempest next-generation combat aircraft and Dreadnought nuclear submarines.”

Robert Halfon, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, added: “Apprenticeships are the catalyst to boosting the economy, building a skills nation and extending the ladder of opportunity to all. It’s extraordinary to see leading apprentice employer BAE Systems plan to recruit over 2,600 apprentices and graduates this year across key industries including cyber security, aerospace engineering and software development.”