Resource Group and BAE Systems are to build a new £5m ($7.92m) aircraft maintenance training academy to provide up to 60 apprentice opportunities a year and more than 150 new jobs over three years. The new academy will be fully operational by October 2015 with construction work commencing this month.
The new academy will become BAE Systems’ UK central hub to train apprentices and technicians for the maintenance and servicing of military jet aircraft for both the RAF and export customers. Based at Humberside Airport and modeled on Resource Group’s existing state-of-the-art training operation at the Cotswold Airport, Kemble, the new academy will incorporate a hangar with six technical training aircraft, classrooms, and training workshops.
Resource Group’s existing Cotswold facility has been in operation as an aviation maintenance training facility since 2010 (previously based in South Wales) and has won significant praise from the CAA, MAA, airlines, helicopter operators and aircraft manufacturers for its efficient and highly effective training programs delivered in a realistic re-creation of an on-airport actual maintenance environment. Resource Group will be providing a totally managed service from the procurement of the facilities, training assets, and instructors, to course design and delivery and including the on-airport student accommodation.
BAE Systems will take 60 apprentices in four cohorts of 15 each year, onto a two-year apprenticeship program, leading to NVQ level three. They will follow a 24 month course consisting of 8 months theoretical training, work-shop practice and on-aircraft practical training followed by 16 months on-the-job training at RAF Coningsby or RAF Marham.
Once qualified, the apprentices will become part of the BAE Systems aircraft maintenance team, working alongside the RAF in supporting the Typhoon and Tornado fast-jet fleets.
“We are really looking forward to working with our partners on this exciting project. The need for BAE Systems to establish a capability to support our Armed Forces has never been greater as we export our products in line with Government policy and are committed to supporting the products and the nations who buy them, as our allies,” Martin Blaze, aircraft maintenance & support director, BAE Systems, said. “This Academy gives us the opportunity to develop the individuals to the highest level of competence to ensure safe operations. We also anticipate that BAE Systems personnel from places such as Saudi Arabia and Oman will also come to this facility to be trained to then return to work in country, which will be a huge feather in the cap of all concerned.”
Ian Fitzpatrick, Managing Director, Resource Group, Training Solutions division said:
“Resource Group is delighted to provide this turnkey solution for our client. Building on the highly successful existing five year business relationship that has seen us design and implement a full career progression program for over 200 aircraft maintainers, based on European Aviation Safety Agency best practice. The new Academy will provide an outstanding environment in which to learn and will set the benchmark for excellence in aviation technical training.”