MP for Barrow and Furness Simon Fell has welcomed the news of BAE Systems' major 2023 recruitment drive in the town.

More than 600 new apprentices are to be recruited in Barrow alone next year with 2,600 apprentices and graduates being taken on nationally by the marine engineering company.

This represents a 43 per cent increase on 2022's early career's intake and Mr Fell has praised the company for looking to harvest local talent.

He said: "These new apprenticeships show the strength of the order book in the shipyard and also the considerable opportunities offered to the community as a result. 

"It is a very good time to be in the shipbuilding business, and the skills and opportunities that these apprenticeships offer will set people up with skills for life. 

"I’m glad that BAE is seeking to grow so much of the talent it needs locally rather than importing in contractors which is absolutely the right strategy - long may it continue."

READ MORE: BAE Systems announces major intake of new apprentices

One such Barrovian who could not speak highly enough of the BAE early-career path is second-year apprentice steelworker Sean Woodcock.

The 28-year-old has not had a straightforward career path as he explained.

"I was originally doing a Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management because I wanted to work in a zoo," said Sean.

"But my dad was diagnosed with cancer when I was 17 and I found I just couldn't focus at all on the course.

"I went to McDonald's and became a manager but it wasn't for me.

"I'm a very hands-on person so managing did not suit me. 

"I initially considered becoming a joiner, but then got the chance of becoming a steelworker."

Sean has not looked back and at the end of his four-year apprenticeship will be working on state-of-the-art submarines for the Royal Navy.

He said: "The prospects are unbelievable. Working at BAE Systems gives me the confidence that I'll have a career in the town I live in."

The closing date for apprentice applications is February 28, 2023.

There are multiple graduate intakes throughout the year, including January, June and September.

Find out more and apply: