University of Adelaide partners with Babcock to boost defence talent & skills

(L-r) Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) Dr Jessica Gallagher; Babcock CEO Andrew Cridland; University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Høj AC and Babcock Managing Director AUKUS & International Sir Nick Hine KCB. Image credit: University of Adelaide

A new collaboration between the University of Adelaide and Babcock Australasia is poised to accelerate Australia’s key military workforce to serve the country’s ambitious defence agenda. 

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) pledging to collaborate closely has been signed by Babcock CEO Andrew Cridland, Babcock Managing Director AUKUS & International Sir Nick Hine KCB, the University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj AC, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) Dr Jessica Gallagher.

As part of the deal, Babcock and the University of Adelaide will work together on new initiatives and projects to support ongoing defence projects and the AUKUS program, including the delivery of the country’s first nuclear-powered submarines, with the goal of expanding Australia’s defence personnel and capabilities.

Under the AUKUS trilateral security pact, the United States and the United Kingdom will help Australia in the construction of nuclear-powered submarines in South Australia. 

Thus, the Memorandum of Understanding will serve as the guiding framework for both enterprises on fresh talent attraction and development to assist defence and national security and realise the promise of AUKUS.

Professor Peter Høj AC expressed his enthusiasm for working closely with Babcock Australasia to accomplish common goals and contribute to the expansion and expertise of Australia’s defence industry. 

“Working closely together will help address the complexities in defence skills and workforce in preparation for the greatest advanced manufacturing opportunity of our time,” he said.

Babcock’s Nick Hine said the company’s partnership with the University of Adelaide reaffirms its dedication to maintaining the workforce and the skills needed to support significant defence projects like the AUKUS deal.

He remarked, “As a tri-national endeavour, we all need to urgently upskill our workforce and encourage Australians to take up once-in-a-lifetime careers in the Defence industry in order to deliver the most complex and largest Defence agenda in Australia’s history – and this work starts now.”

Meanwhile, Babcock Australasia CEO Andrew Cridland stated the MOU emphasises Babcock’s commitment to collaborating closely with the academic community in a push to continue to expand and develop the workforce required to assist in maintaining the safety and security of the country and the larger Indo-Pacific region.

“Given our extensive global experience in sustainment, nuclear safety and stewardship, Babcock stands ready to assist Australia in delivering this very significant opportunity, including growing the required workforce to support the delivery of the nation’s first nuclear-powered submarines,” Cridland said. 

Founded in 1891, Babcock is a Navy ship sustainer in Australia and NZ, employing more than 1,800 people.