USE THIS ONEBAE Systems has this month welcomed 54 graduates and 25 apprentices to its national defence business in roles right across Australia. Reflecting the growing digital and software capability BAE Systems is building to support Australia’s future defence needs, 19 of the graduates are software engineers, with an additional three mechatronic engineers and three ICT engineers also being hired.

The Jindalee Operational Radar Network. (PHOTO: BAE Systems)

Underpinning the recruitment drive is the company’s role leading the upgrade of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network and the ramping up of the Hunter Class Frigate Program, together with major programs in BAE Systems’ maritime and aircraft sustainment businesses. Each new graduate will work across a range of specialist roles in different business and engineering functions on critically important defence projects during their two-year placement with the company. Eighteen of the apprentices will work on the Hunter program, bringing the total number of apprentices on the program to 36. They are undertaking a Flexible School Based Apprenticeship, focusing on welding, boiler-making and electrical trades, while they complete their SACE studies at their current school.

Another seven apprentices have been recruited to work at BAE Systems’ Henderson facility in Western Australia, supporting the mid-life capability upgrade of the Anzac fleet.

In 2020, BAE Systems provided more than 140 opportunities for young people looking to kick start their careers in the defence industry, including:

  • 70 graduate roles
  • 37 apprenticeships and seven traineeships and
  • 29 internships

BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Officer, Gabby Costigan, said: “I am delighted that we continue to support a range of recruitment and work experience activities which support young people in our communities, right across the nation. Investing in a future workforce will help ensure that we develop the capability we need to deliver our future defence programs including the Hunter Class Frigates, the Jindalee Operational Radar Network and to support the men and women in the Australian Defence Force.”

Recruitment for 2022 graduate placements will begin in March 2021. Traineeships and intern placements for this year will be finalised soon.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds. (PHOTO: Government Photo)

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said important naval shipbuilding capability had been retained, with the graduates having a combined total of around 700 years of shipbuilding experience. “With the major milestone of commencement of prototyping reached in December last year, it is vital that we see continued growth in the shipbuilding workforce that will employ 15,000 personnel across Australia as part of this government’s A$183 billion Naval Shipbuilding Plan. Following the completion of this course, the graduates now have the required skills to work in our state-of-the-art digital shipyard facility at Osborne South in Adelaide. They can use their newly gained digital skills to forge a new career path, with more than half being redeployed into engineering, project management and supply chain roles on the Hunter Class Project. The remainder will go into operations roles where they will put their new skills into practice on the shop floor.”

Some 2,500 direct jobs are expected to be created under the new Frigate program.

Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said the course has been an important tool to upskill existing employees to ensure Australia retains a skilled and experienced naval shipbuilding workforce. “The course has allowed Flinders University to deliver skills that are directly relevant to the naval shipbuilding industry, and allowed students to undertake hands-on solutions in their workplace,” Tudge said. “Less than a year after we launched the diploma, we have the first graduates applying their skills in the workforce.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the government is working with industry partners like BAE to ensure we have the Australian workforce for projects such as the Hunter Class Frigates. “BAE Systems Maritime Australia has already brought on apprentices who work alongside the 1,000 personnel working on the Hunter project,” Price said.


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