ADS Parliamentary Reception for Apprentices and Graduates in the UK Defence Industry- Jim Murphy speaking

Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, speaking today at the ADS Parliamentary Reception for Apprentices and Graduates in the UK Defence Industry, will say:

• The UK defence industry is uniquely placed to meet the challenges of the global security landscape and the global economy. A strong UK defence industry can be both responsive to threats we face, providing advanced weaponry, as well as part of a vibrant, advanced and high skilled private sector, stimulating jobs and growth.

• That is why the industry can be such an important and exciting place to work – essential sectors which not only contribute to national good but provide exciting professional opportunities.

• I have consistently argued that we have a job of work to do to modernise our economy to succeed in the new global context and that means developing our areas of existing strength, one of which is our defence sector.

• If you were to design, from scratch, an industry-of-the-future that offered large numbers of well-paid, highly skilled jobs, with large number of apprenticeships and huge opportunities for young graduates; an industry that contributed greatly to our export wealth and our national income; you would come up with something that looks very much like our defence industry.

• It is estimated that the UK defence industry employs over 300,000 people and generates over £35 billion per year to the UK economy.

• Last year the Defence Industry directly employed over 25,000 graduates and almost 3,000 apprentices and trainees.

• At a time of growing youth unemployment, the highly skilled jobs and apprenticeships in this industry are at a premium.

• The Defence industry runs some of the highest quality Apprenticeships and Graduate Support schemes:

• In 2011, an Ofsted inspection of Rolls Royce deemed the company’s apprenticeship scheme ‘Outstanding’. Over one third of the company’s senior UK managers began their careers as apprentices.

• BAE Systems has approximately 1,000 apprentices training with the company at any one time and was this year named the National Apprentice Awards Macro employer of the year.

• In 2009, an Ofsted inspection deemed Finmeccanica’s apprenticeship scheme – ‘Grade 1: Outstanding’

• At the Education Investor Awards 2011, Babcock were listed as finalists in 2 categories.

• I welcome this fantastic scheme and congratulate all the companies involved.

• The UK defence industry is dynamic and forward thinking. Talented and enthusiastic young people – like those here today – will be a key part of the long term future of the sector, helping the UK to sustain its position at the forefront of global defence manufacturing.

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