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Babcock to hire trainees amid engineering talent shortages

written by Adam Thorn | May 31, 2022

Babcock has announced it will accept a new intake of graduate trainees in November with roles available in Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Auckland.

The engineering and helicopter emergency services provider said the two-year program will include positions covering engineering, project management, finance, human resources and IT.

It comes in addition to the business operating its separate 13-week paid internship program, which will conclude in February 2023.

Babcock’s announcement comes as the aviation industry faces one of the worst skills shortages in generations, with the peak industry body for engineers warning the situation is so severe projects are being delayed and employees are being promoted into positions they’re not ready for.

Babcock executive director Brad Yelland said those who win a place on the graduate scheme will be nurtured and exposed to new techniques.

“Due to the breadth of work we undertake, the opportunities available aren’t limited to STEM graduates,” said Yelland. “Graduate roles will integrate with departments across Babcock including engineering, human resources, finance and strategy.

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“Our program allows for graduates to be mentored by industry experts and leads to true career outcomes. Upon completion, participants will remain employed with Babcock.

Positions are available for those who have studied naval architecture, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, mechatronics, electronics, project management, business, marketing, commerce, HR and software.

Babcock added those who are successful in the separate internship program will also stand a great chance of progressing to the longer graduate scheme.

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In October last year, Engineers Australia’s chief engineer, Jane MacMaster, told Australian Aviation skill shortages in the profession had become such an issue that it is now mentioned to her at “almost every meeting”.

“Everyone I talk to in the industry raises pretty much exactly the same concern,” said MacMaster. “Whenever I meet a chief engineer and ask them what are the main challenges they’re facing, almost exclusively skills shortages crop up as the most important issue.

“I think delaying some projects is one implication that we’re seeing. In other areas, we’re seeing people being promoted into more senior positions, probably before they’re ready, and before they’ve had the ideal number of years of experience.”

Many industries nationwide are complaining of shortages that were exacerbated by Australia’s border closures.

Prior to COVID, nearly 60 per cent of the engineering industry were migrants.

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