A NEW study has found that more than 40 per cent of young people in the UK are putting their careers on hold due to the pandemic.

The research, commissioned by Samlesbury-based BAE Systems with the Prince's Trust charity, also shows that the crisis has cased large numbers of young people to rethink their priorities with 51 per cent now placing more importance on their careers (despite having had to put plans on hold) and 63 per cent saying they have or would now consider an apprentice.

To meet this new demand BAE has now announced that it will be recruiting more than 850 apprentices and 400 graduates this year, 341 of which are set to be recruited in Lancashire.

Prince’s Trust director of partnerships Ben Marson said: “The pandemic continues to negatively affect young people’s employment prospects.

"At The Prince’s Trust, we know from our own research the impact unemployment can have on young people’s mental health and overall future.

"Our recent youth index report found that 60 per cent of young people say that getting a new job feels "impossible now" because there is so much competition and 23 per cent saying they don’t feel confident about their future work.

"It is absolutely crucial that we work with our corporate partners like BAE Systems to provide opportunities for young people to gain the skills and confidence for work, so they do not lose hope for their future.”

The Lancashire roles are set to include 213 apprentices and 128 graduates across the company's Air and Shared Services business.

Opportunities are also available in a variety of roles including accountancy, human resources, electronic systems design, software development, joinery and mechanical fitting.

First year chartered management degree apprentice Louise Fairclough said: "I joined the Company in January, having gone through the virtual recruitment process.

"Since then, I have been working from home and feel that despite the pandemic, my career has got off to a fantastic start."

Applications are open until February 28.

To find out more, go to: baesystems.com/earlycareers.