in Defence

Babcock introduce international apprentice exchange programme

Posted 1 December 2023

Babcock International has teamed up with PGZ-SW shipyard in Gdynia, Poland to launch a new international apprentice exchange programme.

Image courtesy Babcock

Following the launch earlier this year of Babcock’s Skills Academy which is providing learning opportunities and equipping our workforce to meet the evolving challenges our customers will face in the future, the Polish programme is set to grow international collaboration and shared learning.   

Babcock and PGZ-SW are maximising their existing relationship following Babcock’s selection as the platform design provider and technology partner for Poland’s MIECZNIK frigate programme. PGZ-SW is leading the build of the frigates at its facilities in Gdynia.  

Newly qualified apprentices Brandon and Ryan from Babcock’s Rosyth site, along with Damian and Jakub, student workers from PGZ-SW, have spent two weeks participating in a pilot for the new exchange programme. During this time, they shared their knowledge while experiencing new and different ways of working.

In the first week, Brandon, a pipefitter and Ryan, a designer, visited Gdynia, where they had the opportunity to gain experience at PGZ-SW’s shipyard including working in different teams across the shipyard and seeing activity taking place in their equivalent field.

The Babcock employees were also hosted by Jakub and Damian at CKZiU technical college, where they were shown what a typical day looks like for the Polish students. As part of the exchange, they experienced the local culture by visiting the Naval Museum and the science centre.

Similarly, the following week Babcock were delighted to reciprocate a visit for Hull Fitter students Jakub and Damian to the Rosyth facility to spend time visiting various teams and learning about the work carried out on the Type 31 general purpose frigate programme  which Babcock is leading for the UK Royal Navy. The students were able to see first-hand the programme’s multi-ship phase which sees two warships being built simultaneously in the state-of-the-art build hall, the Venturer Building. The action-packed week also included an afternoon at  Fife College, and the opportunity to spend a day exploring Edinburgh.

Babcock plans to roll out the programme during summer 2024 where apprentices from Babcock and students from PGZ-SW shipyard in Gdynia will have the chance to participate in the exchange programme.

Phil Craig, Managing Director for International Shipbuilding, said: “We are delighted to have launched the pilot programme which we can use to tailor a full roll out of activity next summer.

“Through this initiative, we are strengthening our relationship with Gdynia and PGZ-SW shipyard, whilst supporting and promoting our Early Careers ambitions for young people working at Babcock.

He added: “It’s mutually beneficial for both Babcock and PGZ-SW to work together and this unique experience offers Babcock apprentices the opportunity to work internationally and build links overseas.”

Both academic institutions (Fife College, and CKZiU in Gdynia) are working in collaboration with Babcock and PGZ-SW on supporting the exchanges.
Paweł Lulewicz, President of the Board of PGZ SW said: “PGZ Stocznia Wojenna is implementing the largest programme in the history of the Polish Navy - the construction of three Miecznik frigates. To meet this challenge, we are modernising our infrastructure while at the same time carrying out activities that will encourage young people to take up employment at our shipyard. The exchange programme with Babcock provides an opportunity to showcase PGZ SW as an attractive and promising place to work providing opportunities for professional development in a dynamic international environment.”

Miles Lagan ,Head of Business Development, Fife College “We were delighted to welcome Damian and Jakub, along with Brandon and Ryan, to our Rosyth campus and to show our support for this exciting international apprentice exchange programme. They were able to see how we deliver Modern Apprenticeships and had the opportunity to observe apprentices learning and honing key skills in our state of the art workshop environment.“

“As one of Scotland’s leading trainers of Engineering Modern Apprentices, we are proud to support Babcock’s growing apprenticeship programme. We wish Damian and Jakub well in their studies and look forward to welcoming future PGZ-SW apprentices to Fife College.”





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