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Wind Tunnel Test Engineer Scoops Apprentice Award


Manchester, United Kingdom - BAE Systems apprentice Rachael Carr, a Wind Tunnel Engineer from the Company’s military aircraft business in Warton, Lancashire has been named ‘BAE Systems Apprentice of the Year’ at the Company’s UK Apprenticeship Awards held in Manchester.

The Awards recognise the achievements of BAE Systems apprentices from across the UK, who have excelled both in the workplace and in their academic studies. An Award was also made for work in the community.

BAE Systems currently has more than 1,000 engineering and business apprentices in training and will be recruiting a further 291 in 2011, making it one of the largest employers of apprentices in the UK.

Twenty-two year old Rachael joined BAE Systems in 2006 and completed her apprenticeship in March 2010 with an additional NVQ unit in Aircraft Electrical Sub-Assemblies. She moved to work in the wind tunnel as an electrical and electronics test engineer and subsequently spent ten weeks at Cranfield University as the electrical expect working on the Demon, an unmanned air vehicle developed by BAE Systems and ten universities. Demon demonstrated ‘flap-less’ flight on its maiden flight from Walney Island, Cumbria in September 2010.

As well as winning the ‘Apprentice of the Year’, Rachael was also named ‘Technical Apprentice of the Year’. Receiving the overall award, Rachael said: “I’m shocked but delighted to have won and hope I can act as a role model to other young women and girls who are considering working in engineering. I’ve worked on some fantastic aerospace projects so far and am sure this is the start of a really exciting career for me. ”

Alongside the overall winner, a further seven awards were made with apprentices from Warton winning another four awards. Jonathan Berisford won the Mechanical Award; Thomas Forshaw won the Fabrication Award with Calum Devine and Chris Clewett wining the Electrical and Business Achievement Award respectively.

James Donnell from the submarine business in Barrow-in-Furness won the Community Achievement Award with Daniel Dawson from Rochester, Kent winning the Business Award. Also from Rochester, Daniel Cooper won the Academic Award.

Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director at BAE Systems, added: “The BAE Systems Apprenticeship Awards recognise the very best of our apprentices. Our 1000 apprentices are crucial in ensuring BAE Systems maintains a pipeline of talent to sustain our position as a leading UK engineering and manufacturing company. Many of BAE Systems’ senior managers started as apprentices, and as an ex-apprentice myself, I’d thoroughly recommend the training programme as a career option.

“I congratulate all of our nominees and award-winners, and wish them the best in their careers.”

Through its Skills 2020 programme, BAE Systems invests more than £50M per annum in the UK in education and schools activity, university partnerships and training and development for employees. Skills 2020 represents BAE Systems’ commitment to ensuring it has the right skills to remain competitive and operate successfully in the UK over the next decade, into 2020 and beyond. The company is also committed to encouraging young people to take an interest in engineering, science, technology and maths and to consider a future career in these areas.


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