Defence Notes

BAE calling upon UK effort to develop skills for industry

28th June 2019 - 16:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


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BAE Systems have called upon industry, government and the education sector to make a concentrated effort to prepare the UK for the benefits of the digital revolution and Industry 4.0.

The Chief Technology Officer at BAE, Nigel Whitehead, said that the defence, aerospace, engineering and manufacturing sectors must work together and invest further in digital and ‘soft skills’, upskilling, retraining, supporting supply chains and SMEs.

This should all be done in response to the estimated levels of complexity in industrial and business systems, as well as the demand from technologies like artificial intelligence.

He also suggested that business involved in those sectors needed to create more diverse, inclusive and flexible workplaces, reflecting different working preferences and lifestyles.

Whitehead also called upon a nationwide programme to be implemented, with the goal of improving the perception of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and careers.

However, he also spoke of the engineering industry having to consider recruiting people with applicable skills traditionally associated with art subjects, like creativity and problem solving.

‘I am personally really excited by the opportunities in today’s highly connected world and what the future will bring, but we cannot be complacent’ he said at a launch event at BAE’s Academy for Skills & Knowledge in Samlesbury, Lancashire.

‘By taking tangible action now and capitalising on the ambition of young people coupled with the UK’s traditions and advantages – education, strong legal frameworks, technical innovations and leadership – we can exploit the digital revolution and compete on the world stage.’

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