New £5m RAF academy set to take off at Humberside Airport

A general view of the terminal building and control tower at Humberside Airport, North Lincolnshire. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

A general view of the terminal building and control tower at Humberside Airport, North Lincolnshire. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

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A new multi-million pound training facility for apprentice technicians destined to work on air force bases around the world is set to open.

Isle college leavers will be invited to apply for places at the £5m training academy run by BAE Systems, which is due to be officially unveiled by civic leaders and aviation chiefs at Humberside Airport on Thursday.

Councillor Liz Redfern.

Councillor Liz Redfern.

The BAE Systems RJ Mitchell Aircraft Maintenance Academy is the only one of its kind in the region and is named after the inventor of the iconic Spitfire aircraft.

It will provide more than 60 apprenticeship opportunities each year resulting in more than 150 jobs over the next three years.

BAE Systems will also take up to 15 students each year from the new Humber University Technical College in Scunthorpe.

Apprentices will be offered the chance of a lifetime to work on BAE systems Hawk fighter jets, the ‘flying classroom’ that trains pilots of the future, and Dominie aircraft to prepare them for a career with BAE Systems, working alongside the Royal Air Force.

Once trained, the students will support the fast jet fleets at RAF Conningsby, RAF Valley and RAF Marham. The trainees could eventually transfer to bases abroad to support international export programmes.

Axholme Central councillor Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “This is a significant investment in North Lincolnshire by a global business. This proves that North Lincolnshire is not only open for business, but is attracting businesses and creating jobs from world leading organisations.

“Young people across our area will have the opportunity to work in an apprenticeship with a major employer and establish a career which could take them all over the world. The council has worked really hard with BAE systems to develop this excellent training academy in North Lincolnshire.”

David Talbot, head of the Aircraft Maintenance Academy, added: “The opening of the new academy provides us with a world-class facility to grow the next generation of aircraft maintenance technicians.”