The Academy for Skills and Knowledge, at BAE Systems’ Submarines site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, was officially opened last week by the Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson.
The state-of-the-art £25m training academy covers 89,340 sq ft and was built to develop the world-class engineering skills required to design, build and deliver complex submarine programmes to the Royal Navy. Featuring classrooms, workshops, a virtual reality suite and scale-model sized submarine units, the academy will provide bespoke training to almost 9,000 employees, including nearly 800 apprentices.
The Defence Secretary also used his visit to announce the award of a further £400m to BAE Systems for ongoing work on the Dreadnought programme, as well as reveal the name of the second boat in the class, which will be HMS Valiant.
Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Defence, said: “The Dreadnought programme is truly a national endeavour, employing some of the brightest engineers and scientists in this country.
“This new Academy for Skills and Knowledge is a vital part of this programme as, alongside our industry partners, we strive to upskill and maintain the talented workforce building these state-of-the-art submarines.”
Cliff Robson, Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines, said: “This is a fantastic facility that will provide a unique environment in which to train our growing workforce. Our investment in skills will not only ensure we have a pipeline of world-class talent available to deliver our complex programmes, but will also positively contribute to the economic prosperity of the region and the UK’s engineering industry.
“The new academy will give our current and future workforce access to the very latest in learning and development, demonstrating our lasting commitment not just to our current employees but to those who will join our company in years to come.
“To support this, we continue to work closely with local schools and colleges and we see the academy as another positive step towards helping to raise standards of education in the area.”