2 mins read

BAE have officially announced the Degree Apprenticeships!

01 December 2023

Parents, family and friends of school leavers take note! Applications are now open for a new type of apprenticeship program that combines on-the-job training (and pay!) with higher education.

BAE Systems Australia has joined the South Australian Government, as well as the University of South Australia and industry partners to launch this innovative approach to education. Tom Johnson, Manufacturing Engineering Manager at BAE Systems Australia undertook one in the UK, prior to the official launch of degree apprenticeships in 2015.

Read about his experience below.

When Tom was leaving school in the UK, he discovered BAE’s Engineering Degree Apprenticeship program, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. This program allowed him to simultaneously expand his knowledge and experience, both at work and in university, all while earning a pay check.

The unique aspect of a degree apprenticeship is the blend of work experience with formal education. It’s like having the best of both worlds. Tom learned that at university, you gain theoretical knowledge—the “ideal world” perspective, while at work, you test that knowledge in the real world. This dynamic process helped him develop practical skills and gain confidence.

Throughout his apprenticeship, Tom had the opportunity to work in different teams, which provided insights into various aspects of the business. This experience gave him a profound appreciation for the importance of each person’s role in complex projects, including his own.

One memorable moment in Tom’s journey was when he worked on developing the engineering to repair a Hawk aircraft that had sustained damage in service. He was invited to the RAF Base to witness the repair process, and it was a proud moment to see his work put into action on a real aircraft.

Tom’s time as an apprentice and employee at BAE Systems offered him numerous fantastic experiences. He represented the company at the Royal International Air Tattoo, spent a week living on a base with the RAF, participated in national apprenticeship challenges, attended industry-wide awards events, and enjoyed various team-building activities.

During his apprenticeship, Tom found a mentor and friend in a fellow apprentice who was slightly older. Despite the age gap, this mentorship played a significant role in helping Tom navigate the challenges of balancing education and work. Their friendship has endured, even with Tom now living on the other side of the world, here in Australia.

In reflection, Tom encourages anyone considering a degree apprenticeship to take the plunge, as it will lead them on an amazing journey of growth and learning.

Find out more about the application process and encourage the school leavers in your life to apply.

Rate this article

Did you find this article helpful?

    Back to top

      Sign up to our Newsletter

      Get the latest on job opportunities, insights and news to help explore your future

      Why are we asking for this? Postcodes help us make sure that the information we send is relevant to you in your area.

      Thank you for signing up

      We'll keep you updated with the latest on job opportunities, insights and news to help explore your future.