Babcock, in conjunction with the Department of Work and Pensions and Plymouth City Council, have developed a SWAP (skills-based work academy) programme to support people back into employment.

Babcock, alongside Supacat, are building 70 new Jackal vehicles for the British Army which is creating new jobs in the South West region with 90 new jobs at Babcock’s Devonport site and over 40 at Supacat’s design, engineering and manufacturing facilities at Dunkeswell in Devon.

To help transition people back to the workforce, Babcock hosted a five-day comprehensive SWAP training programme. This included health and safety qualifications, wellbeing in the workplace, mindset coaching and support in finding employment as well as a tour of Babcock’s new production facility in Devonport and an insight into the Jackal project.

Following the SWAP programme, five people have been offered full-time roles within the project, of which two have already commenced their employment, with three starting in the coming weeks. Those who weren’t successful were given valuable careers advice supported by Plymouth City Council to help them secure future opportunities.

Rachel who attended the SWAP programme and was successful in gaining employment said: “I was waiting for an opportunity to prove myself. I really enjoyed the course, meeting new people and learning about the company. I had no idea that I would get a job at the end of it, but I am absolutely ecstatic about this opportunity and very excited about my journey here. I would 100% recommend the skills-based work academy or similar courses to other people. It’s just a fantastic opportunity to learn more and meet new people.”

Tom Newman, Babcock CEO, Land said: “Through the SWAP programme we will enhance and improve the lives of people who have previously found it difficult to gain employment.

“Embedding social value into the Jackal programme ensures that we are building a legacy and making a significant and sustained impact to our local communities, while supporting the growth of the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport.”

Eifion Jones, Business Growth and Investment Director, Plymouth and South Devon Freeport said: “The SWAP programme is a fantastic initiative that will help to develop the skills and knowledge of our local workforce to ensure that we have the right people in place to support the growth of the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport. We are committed to working with Babcock, Supacat, and all our tenants and partners, to deliver high-quality skills training and development opportunities that will benefit our businesses and communities and bridge the skills gap in the region.”

Mark Trewin, Principal Adult Education and Skills from Plymouth City Council said: “That little bit of investment in time and thinking about things slightly differently can make a difference to somebody who might have been long term unemployed or didn’t have a great time at school and is looking to turn their lives around. The experience of coming to Babcock and being part of the environment and the working atmosphere inspires those learners and gives them a real context and inspiration to want to get that job, improve their CVs and to improve their skills.”

Babcock, working alongside Plymouth and South Devon Freeport will continue to find opportunities to make a sustained difference to the local community as well as providing more SWAP events in the future.

Babcock International