1st of December 2016, BAE Systems proudly announces the opening of their Academy for Skills & Knowledge (ASK). An investment worth £15.6 millions, ASK is located in Samlesbury, Lancashire. The target is to train annually nearly 200 apprentices and graduates for their Military Air & Information business and also to provide life-long learning and skills development activities for 13 000 employees for at least the next 40 years.
With a total ground surface of 7200 m2, the Academy for Skills & Knowledge is located on the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone alongside BAE Systems’ military aircraft advanced manufacturing center.
ASK has been designed and built from scratch over three years and consists of 26 modern, light and airy classroom facilities. It incorporates the latest advanced manufacturing technologies and factory layouts used at BAE Systems including:
- robotics: manufacturing Kuka robot cell identical to the one found in BAE Systems’ advanced manufacturing line, producing parts for Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 jets
- 3D printers: to teach skills in designing and rapid prototyping of parts, which is increasingly used in modern manufacturing
- a virtual reality ‘cave’: used in a training environment for the first time, which allows people to mimic any process from enhancing technology on a military jet simulating building major infrastructure
- a composites clean room: carbon fibre room to help trainees understand the materials used in Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 Lightning II aircraft
- a training aircraft: full-size Hawk jet trainer to give workers the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the aircraft used by Air Forces across the world
- welding facilities
The BAE Academy for Skills and Knowledge in facts and numbers:
- £15.6 millions investment
- 450 tonnes of steelwork used in construction
- 6000 tonnes of concreted poured
- 8000 m2 of material removed to make way for the academy
- 101 miles of cables throughout the building
BAE Systems invests more than £80M per annum in skills. Flagship activities include a partnership with the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force that delivers a nationwide roadshow for 350 schools and aims to bring engineering to life through a highly interactive theatre show. BAE Systems’ recruited 667 apprentices across its UK business in 2016. Of those, 182 joined the military aircraft business. The Company’s apprentice training programme is rated ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED and was recently recognised with a Princess Royal Training Award.