06 Dec 2017

Movement to Work: Helping bridge the gap between unemployment and training

The wider defence industry makes an invaluable contribution to the UK’s national security and economic prosperity. According to figures from leading trade body ADS, the UK Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space sectors support 900,000 jobs across the country. In 2016, the turnover for these sectors was a combined £72 billion with £37 billion worth of exports. It is therefore of great importance having the right kind of people available across the supply chains to meet the challenges of working in such a vital, innovative industry.

The Movement to Work programme, started by the Government and The Prince’s Trust, is a registered charity and voluntary collaboration of UK employers committed to tackling youth unemployment through providing valuable work experience and vocational training opportunities for young people that are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Data from the Office for National Statistics puts the number of young people who are NEET at 800,000 with the economic cost to the UK of youth unemployment over the next decade expected to hit an estimated £28 billion.

BAE Systems has supported the Movement to Work programme since 2014 and is one of more than 100 UK businesses that provide skills and build confidence to help thousands of unemployed young people find work.

The placement sees young people aged between 16 and 24 undertake two weeks’ work experience and a further two weeks with The Prince’s Trust.

The scheme has enabled BAE Systems to offer valuable work experience to people who have gone on to work for the company. Overall, 90 young people are now employed by the company across the country as a result of their participation in the scheme.

Alex Green, a participant in the programme last year, was effusive in his praise for it. “The Movement to Work scheme was a really enjoyable experience,” he enthused. “My work placement was in the Indirect Procurement Services function of BAE Systems in Preston. Everyone was so welcoming and hardworking, I instantly felt a part of the team. Since being on my placement, I have gained a wide range of knowledge about BAE Systems, and their systems and processes.

“During the two-week vocational training with The Prince’s Trust and The Launch Group, I built up my confidence and enhanced my skills to get me back into work. Overall, I would really recommend the programme to any young people who get the opportunity to participate.”

Frazer Rogers from BAE Systems Shared Services function is a previous participant in the Movement to Work scheme. He explained how he personally benefited from the programme: “The scheme helped me dramatically. During the placement, I was given a real insight into the workings of the business and was tasked with responsibility across various teams and functions, from communications to project management and HR administration. It was a truly remarkable experience and a real opportunity to move into work.”

Those who perform well during the training boost their chances of earning an apprenticeship – something that can provide a real motivation to those taking part.

There are currently around 4300 Movement to Work apprentices and trainees employed by 69% of defence companies in the UK, and even those who are unable to gain an apprenticeship still come away with a certificate and valuable experience that will stand them in good stead in their efforts to find future employment.

BAE Systems was one of 40 organisations honoured with a Princess Royal Training Award at a recent ceremony at St James’s Palace in London. The company was recognised for creating lasting impact by successfully linking skills development needs to business productivity and performance.

Steve Fogg, Managing Director of BAE Systems Shared Services, described the company’s Movement to Work programme as “fantastic”. He said: “We are thrilled that our Movement to Work programme has been recognised with this prestigious award. It makes a real difference in helping young people currently not in education, employment or training to get hands-on work experience as well as skills training; often resulting in real job offers.

“For BAE Systems, by opening us up to people from a broader range of backgrounds and life experiences, it helps us to create a more diverse workforce and find new talent for the future.”

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