BAE Systems is to press ahead with the recruitment of a record number of apprentices despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 9,000 young people across the UK applied for the 800 apprenticeship roles during February when the programme was announced and the defence giant put in place measures which have enabled it to restart its recruitment drive with almost 2,000 shortlisted candidates.

It includes round 70 set for BAE Systems in Glasgow where they will work on Type 26 frigates for the Ministry of Defence.

READ MORE: Defence giant donates devices to Glasgow hospitals

Recent research from the Resolution Foundation found that those born in the late 1990s are expected to be hardest hit by the current crisis.

BAE Systems said its early careers teams have developed new ways to enable candidates - most of whom are aged between 16 19 - to go through the process including virtual interviews. The majority will join between September and January.

Charles Woodburn, chief executive of BAE Systems, said: “Getting people back to work and creating new jobs, especially for younger people, is a national priority and we’re pleased to play our part in supporting the UK’s economic recovery.

“The contribution apprentices make to our business is vital in maintaining our ability to continue to deliver cutting edge technologies which protect national security. We’ve worked hard to adapt our application and training processes to allow education to continue, whilst protecting the health and wellbeing of our employees and new recruits.”

Apprentices train in disciplines including engineering, manufacturing, project management, finance, business administration and IT. Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: “It is brilliant to see BAE Systems’ continued support for apprenticeships.”