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UK Defence Secretary visits BAE Systems' training facility build

Posted 20 February 2017 · Add Comment

The Right Honourable Sir Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence, visited BAE Systems Submarines today, where he learnt about the Company's £25m investment in a new apprentice training facility.

The Company’s site, in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, is home to the UK's submarine design and build capability and the new facility will help nurture the unique skills required to deliver one of the world's most complex engineering challenges. BAE Systems is the prime contractor for the Astute programme and the lead industrial partner in the Dreadnought programme, which is a new class of submarines to replace the Vanguard class. 

At nearly 8,000m2, the new Central Training Facility will provide a bespoke learning environment for the almost 1,000 craft and technical apprentices that are currently in training. These include those in mechanical, steelwork and electrical disciplines.  It will also serve as a training centre for its wider workforce.

Work has already started to construct the new building, which is due to open next year. It will include a teaching block, classrooms, offices, craft workshops and welfare facilities.

Sir Michael said: "This investment demonstrates the benefits that our growing defence budget brings for highly skilled jobs in the North West and across the country.
"It will ensure we have people with the skills necessary to deliver one of the most complex programmes in the world that will help modernise our fleet of nuclear submarines."

Tony Johns, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said: “The design and build of a nuclear powered submarine is one of the world's most complex and technically demanding engineering challenges. It's vital we have the right people with the right skills to deliver these programmes. This investment underlines our commitment to the future. The new facility will provide a modern learning environment to supplement the training our apprentices already receive."

The new building has been designed by McBain Cooper and will be built by Wates Construction – the Company which recently completed the design and build of BAE Systems' off-site logistics facility, named the Resolution Building.£25m specialist apprentice training facility investment.

Above: Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon with BAE Systems apprentices inside Devonshire Dock Hall.
Picture: Michael Vallance, BAE Systems

Whilst in Barrow, the Secretary of State also visited Allan Webb Ltd, a specialist in Defence Technical Documentation and Supportability Engineering to review aspects of the support provided to the MoD. Allan Webb Ltd has a strong reputation in the Defence Sector for quality and innovation having over 50 years’ experience in the industry.

Allan Webb Ltd works in conjunction with BMT Defence Services, to increase the MoD’s capability with training and logistical support. BMT Defence Services has a strong reputation in the naval design market, having provided the winning designs for Royal Navy’s MARS Fleet Tanker, the Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) aircraft carrier, and the Astute submarine
The Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon said: "Allan Webb Ltd and BMT Defence Services operate a strong and efficient partnership that provides the MOD with world-leading service helping us to keep Britain safe."

During his visit, the Defence Secretary discussed the latest innovations in how technical equipment handbooks are produced for the MOD and the benefits of this modernisation in order to meet the needs of engineers across the Armed Forces.

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