BAE Systems: Careers in Kent that create a world of opportunities

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BAE Systems provides some of the most advanced, technology-led defence, aerospace and security solutions.

Employing more than 93,000 people in around 40 countries, its skilled workforce plays a vital role in defending international security, and helping to keep its customers safe.

The company recently announced a contract worth £40 million to develop the Striker® II helmet-mounted display for the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon fleet. The contract will create 80 new jobs at the company’s Rochester site in Kent, which is currently growing for the future, with around 200 people hired this year.

Malcolm McLaren is a trainee production technician at BAE Systems in Rochester. Having served in the Army for 13 years before working as a Prison Officer, he was still searching for his long-term role when he looked into careers at BAE Systems.

“I wasn’t sure I had the right qualifications to join but the quality of training at the onsite Technical Training Centre was outstanding and I scored really well on my assessments. I got to experience each production area before I chose to settle in mechanical general assembly, which involves a lot of intricate wiring, building and problem solving,” said Malcolm.

“I was working on things myself within a week. It’s a good working environment – at pace but not rushed off my feet. And the technicians are very knowledgeable and happy to help. They’re really great people.”

Ellie Payne is a production technician who began their career as a trainee after their dad, who also works for BAE Systems, encouraged them to apply.

“I was struggling to find work after the pandemic and dad said ‘why not try here – they’ll teach you everything you need to know’. I’m glad I went for it because I really enjoy the job, even though it wasn’t something I saw myself doing when I was younger,” said Ellie.

Production Technician Ellie Payne and Releasing Officer Lauren Fry, who work at BAE Systems’ Rochester site.
Production Technician Ellie Payne and Releasing Officer Lauren Fry, who work at BAE Systems’ Rochester site.

“I get to build mechanical and electrical parts of units for aircraft. Now I’m experienced, I train the other technicians too. I do prefer a hands-on job, but if a junior leadership role such as ‘Leading Hand’ comes up in my area, I’ll definitely go for it.”

Lauren Fry is a releasing officer who also joined as a trainee technician before becoming a Leading Hand. In her new role, she is responsible for inspecting unit builds before dispatch.

“It’s nice that I’m not completely office based – I get to go onto the shop floor and do the inspections and talk to the technicians about any issues, building on the relationships and technical knowledge I developed previously,” said Lauren.

“There’s no set path going forward. If I want to move to another department, I know managers will be supportive. I’ve got lots of different options from here and I’d be quite happy to make a full career at BAE Systems. I’m quite happy with where I’ve landed!”

BAE Systems are recruiting for positions across the business, from trainee roles and beyond within Operations, to experienced roles in Engineering, Project Management, Finance and more.

And with applications having recently opened for BAE Systems’ 2024 graduate and undergraduate programmes, there is a role for you no matter what stage you’re at in your career.

Take the next step.

Explore opportunities at BAE Systems.

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