Babcock wins Social Value category at MOD Sanctuary Awards

Babcock has been named winner of the Social Value category at this year’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) Sanctuary Awards.

The award recognises our Production Support Operative (PSO) programme that’s supporting the delivery of the next generation of warships for the Royal Navy while helping people with a route to employment who may otherwise have found it difficult.

The MOD Sanctuary Awards is an annual celebration of outstanding sustainability and conservation efforts across the Ministry of Defence. The Social Value Award recognises projects with a focus on the social aspects of sustainability, including community engagement and education.

Developed in partnership with Trade Unions and local community partners, the PSO programme meets resourcing and skills requirements for the build of five Type 31 frigates at our Rosyth facility. It is focused on attracting people from a range of backgrounds and experience, including those not currently in education, employment or training, with the role centred around supporting and learning from time-served tradespeople.

Social value is at the heart of the programme. It’s helping to tackle economic inequality and improve social mobility by targeting recruitment from areas of higher deprivation. It is also reducing barriers to employment and creating equal opportunities with the removal of educational restrictions and provision of neurodiverse support, as well as improving gender balance by encouraging more women to take on industrial roles.

A key part of the programme’s success has been strong community partnerships and engagement. Fife Council has created a bespoke Pre-Employment Programme, which includes local training solutions by Kingdom Works, Exp-Learn and Opportunity Fife, and is the first of its kind in Scotland. Fife College provides between three and five weeks of capability development for every cohort of new PSO recruits, including general health and safety training and specific skills for the role.

Education and skills development are also a fundamental part of the programme. Following initial training, PSOs can further develop through on the job learning and potentially gain qualifications to become skilled tradespeople in the future.

Paul Armstrong, CEO of Babcock’s Marine Sector, said: “Babcock is fully committed to making a positive difference to the communities that we serve, providing high-quality jobs that support local economies. We are extremely honoured to have won the Social Value Award at the prestigious MOD Sanctuary Awards, amongst some really tough competition.

“Since the launch of the programme in April 2022, we have employed more than 150 PSOs and will create a further 350 PSO roles over the next four years as part of 1,000 new jobs at our state-of-the-art Rosyth site.”

The PSO programme continues to grow, and similar programmes are being replicated in other parts of our UK business, demonstrating a relentless commitment to creating and upskilling the workforce.

Watch our short video to learn more about our award-winning PSO programme:

Click here to learn more about our approach to social value and supporting communities.