Scottish apprentices support UK armed forces

Posted on 11 August, 2022 by Advance 

The important role apprentices play in driving innovation and keeping the UK safe was recognised during a Ministerial visit to key defence sites in Scotland this week.

Image courtesy MoD

Visiting Defence Munitions (DM) in Beith – a Defence Equipment & Support facility which employs around 250 people and can produce, test and store weapons for the UK’s Armed Forces - Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin saw the contribution the site is making to current and ongoing operations in Europe and further afield.

DM Beith boasts a sought-after apprenticeship programme, with the latest intake of six apprentices officially starting later this month. The outgoing apprentices had their contributions to UK Defence recognised through an end of apprenticeship ceremony.

During Minister Quin’s visit, he handed over the Deeds for the dozen apprentices who have completed training over the previous two years and who have all been offered permanent roles at the facility.

The Minister also awarded the company’s Apprentice of the Year award to Calvin, who will now be taking up a technical role within the DM Beith Operations Team.

Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said: "It is always a pleasure to meet apprentices across the country to discuss their exciting and educational journey in Defence and this week to congratulate those who have finished their formal apprenticeships.

"We’re pleased to provide these opportunities for technical training and to offer challenging and varied ongoing career opportunities in Ayrshire, whilst investing in the prosperity of the area."

Head of Weapons Support at Defence Equipment & Support, Neil Rixon said: "I was delighted to congratulate our apprentices who have completed their placements and to welcome the next tranche. I’m very proud that our Weapons apprenticeship programme enables us to invest in developing crucial mechanical and electrical engineering skills. The work undertaken at Beith is absolutely critical to our armed forces, and the skills our apprentices are learning are invaluable to Defence Equipment & Support."

During the tour of DM Beith, Minister Quin was shown the in-house complex weapons processing, engineering, storage and deployment capabilities.

As part of his two-day visit to Scotland, the Minister also visited the British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre (BUTEC) at Applecross, on the north-west coast which tests underwater weapons. He then travelled to the MOD Hebrides range, run by Qinetiq for the MOD, where ground-based air defence weapons are tested and complex weapons trials are run.