BAE Systems, the defence company, has announced plans to recruit 550 technologists and engineers for its cyber and intelligence and submarine businesses over the next two years.

The company is looking for 150 graduates with technology, science, maths and engineering skills to join BAE Systems Detica this year, and another 200 graduates in 2012.

In addition, it is recruiting 200 skilled engineers and project managers for the Vanguard Class submarine replacement programme at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria. The successor submarine is scheduled to enter service in 2028.

The Detica recruits will focus on collating and analysing large volumes of highly complex data, as well as supporting projects that help defend governments and industry against cyber attacks.

More than 60 graduates have already been recruited this year to Detica, and the remaining 90 will start in the next couple of months.

BAE Systems’ recruitment drive is part of its Skills 2020 strategy, which aims to ensure the company has the skills it needs to operate effectively in the UK over the next decade and beyond.

The company employs 18,000 engineers in the UK. However, in December 2010, BAE Systems announced 1,307 job losses, including IT roles, in the UK. The cuts were made in response to the Ministry of Defence cancelling its contracts with BAE Systems for the Harrier and Nimrod MRA4 programmes, following the government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review.