Safety and wellbeing, Communities

Our social priorities

We will ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our people.

We will make a positive difference to the communities we’re proud to be a part of and provide high-quality jobs that support local economies.

Safety, health and environmental protection

We have implemented consistent investigation training across Babcock using TOPSET methodology to improve our ability to identify the root causes of issues and build as a learning organisation. Identifying and addressing a number of the underlying and root causes has led to a reduction in serious accidents that lead to days away from work and a reduction in the number of High Potential Occurrences where a serious accident may have occurred.

The Total Recordable Injury Rate (TRIR) relates to injuries that required medical treatment beyond first aid and whilst we saw a significant reduction from 2021, the rate overall has remained broadly static across the year; whereas we have seen a decrease in our Days Away Case Rate (DACR) and High Potential Occurrence Rate (HIPO) indicating that fewer serious events have occurred during the year. The post-COVID return to the workplace combined with the increase in proportion of heavy industrial activities across our dockyards globally have resulted in reported workplace injuries with the vast majority of these minor. We continue to work hard to tackle the causes of accidents and are determined to ensure that our personnel go home safe every day.

The Babcock Safety Improvement Plan has focused on consolidating the foundations for continuous improvement of safety performance with global and local initiatives across the organisation. We have developed our safety leadership training for our frontline leaders and increased the awareness of the hazards within our workplaces to improve the controls in place that mitigate the health and safety risks. We have responded to identification of areas for improvement by sharing good practices across our dockyards, our workshops and between our aviation and nuclear businesses.

See page 74 of our Annual Report for more information.

Employment of disabled persons/equal opportunities

Equal opportunities are available for all employees at Babcock including those with disability. We recognise that disability covers a much broader range of both visible and non-visible conditions. To address this, during FY23, we undertook a full review of options available for personal data including language and definitions.

Declarations have increased as a result, with more of our people completing options around health conditions and impairments and informing us that they have a physical and/or other disability. To support continued employment, training, career development and promotion of disabled employees we have:

  • created and rolled out a dedicated Disability Action Plan;
  • made progress towards achieving Disability Confident Employer Level 2 (UK Government Disability Confident scheme) as we continue to develop our processes, ensuring we are inclusive and providing support for our employees
  • launched a Group wide Disability Network Group

We are also working to review/refresh additional elements of the employee lifecycle, ensuring that disability is a clear consideration at different stages, including recruitment and onboarding.

Building a Babcock for the future

We want to be an agile, people-centred business, where everyone is included, supported, and empowered to develop their talents to the full. We have simplified our structure so we can share capability, talent and best practice coupled with embedding diversity, collaboration, and innovation globally.

Our plans driven initially by our Gender Action Plan greater inclusivity and support our long-term strategy to deliver equal representation and is based on three key themes:

1. Enabling employees to fulfil their potential within Babcock through

  • Flexible working:
  • Culture change 

2. Growing new talent pipeline for the long term through

  • STEM Hubs
  • Teacher insight sessions’
  • Returners

3. Attracting the best female talent through

  • Lifecycle analytics:
  • Charters and memberships
  • Our Global Networks

Global People Survey

During 2022, we established a global engagement platform and in October 2022 we concluded the first Group-wide survey of employees for more than 10 years across the business to get an informed view of how our employees feel about working here.

Over 79% (18,548) of employees participated globally in the survey, leaving 105,895 comments which has given us rich insight into what is important to our people about working in Babcock and how engaged they are feeling in their roles.

The survey helped us identify areas where we could improve. These are critical areas we are already targeting in the coming year through the roll out of the Babcock Role Framework and training for our leaders. 

Outside of the survey, we continue to engage in two-way communications with employees across the business. On a global level, employees are encouraged to use ‘Ask David’ as a direct channel to the CEO to share ideas, suggestions and comments, alongside the weekly vlogs that continue to be a popular way to connect with the CEO. More locally, we conduct focus groups, in-depth interviews and face to face engagement sessions on a range of topics which provide dynamic and targeted employee feedback, helping us to better understand and take action on the things which matter most to our people.

Indigenous peoples

With a global presence, Babcock recognises the importance of engaging and supporting indigenous people in the countries in which we operate.

In Canada, Babcock has transitioned from Phase II to Phase III of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business’ (CCAB) Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) programme. We also added several indigenous businesses to our supply chain this year and laid the groundwork for significant, multi-year investments in indigenous skills development and training-to-employment, which will see employment ‘pipelines’ established.

In Australia, we continue to partner with Supply Nation to expand our supply chain to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned businesses across the region. In New Zealand, we work within the Amotai Initiative, to expand our supply chain and commitment to Māori and Pasifika owned businesses. We also actively support First Nation students to increase their career opportunities and a partnership is in place with a Māori organisation for identification of interns and graduates. Babcock Sponsors the Excellence in Māori & Pasifika Advancement Award and Women in Technology Award at the Auckland University of Technology.


Our STEM teams continued to develop our offering and build presence within communities across the UK. The impact of their delivery has seen an increase in engagement to 885 schools: 534 primary schools, 231 secondary schools, 39 further education and 81 other events. Guided by our commitment to reach diverse communities, our engagement demographics demonstrate that 25% of our engagement was with females, 80% were under 35 and 7% with ethnic minority.

Throughout 2022 our delivery shifted from a virtual offering to more face to face as we increased our presence by hosting and supporting more in-person events. This approach worked exceptionally well and helped us to meet one of our strategic objectives of raising awareness and increasing engagement of STEM to young people.

The team delivered several events and activities including working with secondary schools to deliver ‘Babcock’s STEM In a Box of Fun ’ which provides schools with a STEM resource that they could teach pupils without the need of a STEM ambassador being present. The Team also supported students with mock assessment centres and interviews as well as developing and promoting STEM competitions.

The Devonport STEM Coordination team were also proud winners of both the 2022 Regional STEM Hub Inspirational STEM Employer award and the 2022 National STEM Employer Award.

Babcock and STEM

In May 2023, we welcomed more than 300 local school children to the Festival of Engineering at our Rosyth facility. Over two days, alongside our partners, customers and colleagues, we inspired the next generation with various exciting STEM-based activities as we explored the hi-tech world of engineering, eco-friendly green shipbuilding, robotics, virtual reality, chocolate welding and mini boat building using
recycled materials. As one of the largest employers in the area we want to make a difference. That is why it is important to us that we support our local communities. This Festival was a great way for us to engage the next generation in STEM-based activities and encourage more young people to consider a career in engineering.


During 2022-23 we have successfully piloted a number of learning interventions and workshops aimed at offline and online leaders. Each intervention addresses our unique challenges, is under-pinned by our Principles, and monitored for business impact.

Babcock’s leaders continue to inspire, motivate and empower their teams. Delivering on our contractual and operational commitments through our investment in identifying, developing and supporting our leaders will ensure that together we build a stronger and more sustainable Babcock. Through 2023-24 will continue to focus on developing the capability of our leaders, with targeted programmes aimed at our most Senior Leaders that will be cascaded through the organisation based on responding to the comments raised in the Global People survey.

Early Careers

Our early careers programme continued to grow through 2022 with 1,509 apprentices and graduates currently on programmes across the Group. We also expanded our apprenticeship offer and introduced our first L2 Industrial Coatings Apprenticeship in Devonport along with piloting our first ever T-Levels in Digital, Design and Production in Bristol and introducing Graduate Apprenticeships in Scotland.

We launched our UK-wide Apprentice Behavioural Development programme which helped our apprentices focus on their health and wellbeing. This is the first time we have delivered a UK Group-wide behavioural programme and it’s been very well received.

A Production Support Operative (PSO) Programme was established at Rosyth to address the challenges of availability within skilled tradespersons (e.g., welders). It supports capability development as well as acting as an alternative recruitment pipeline, mitigating the types of roles we require by thinking differently in the ‘way we do’. The PSO role is purposefully skilled in nature (trained in the specific skills we need them to have), allowing flexibility for both the employee and the business. In April 2022, the first of three cohorts of PSOs began at Rosyth (41), with multiple stakeholders ensuring its success. As a result, additional cohorts began in October 2022, with regular intakes planned throughout 2023, with the need to recruit approximately 250 PSO positions by December 2023.

Our early careers programme has continued to see external accolades and recognition over the year which included: 2022 Apprenticeship Development of the Year and ‘Best Integrated Marketing Campaign’ for our Graduate programme at ‘The Firm Awards 2022’.

Visit our early careers website

Driving business led change, creating success

We are continuing to develop our Employee Networks and Peer Support Group model, as they play a key role in achieving a more inclusive business. In 2023 we will establish three new networks focused on carers, disability and veterans which will sit alongside our current networks for ethnicity, faith, gender-balance, LGBTQ+ and Neurodiversity.

Developing our global network groups, they will support the drive for greater diversity across the Group at a working level and support a robust, dynamic, and inclusive workplace. Our Board and Executive team are championing this move to a more inclusive business and are tasked to create a great place to work, which is agile, effective and inclusive.

Deepening inclusion, increasing diversity

We are committed to creating and maintaining a working environment that is inclusive, diverse and supportive, which provides opportunities for all our colleagues. As a defence company, we operate in a sector that continues to be male dominated and our challenge remains primarily an issue of representation. For us, having more women across the Group, and particularly in senior leadership roles, is key to our long-term strategy.

Our work to improve our gender representation has seen us reduce our gender pay gap each year since we started reporting in 2017. This year we are pleased to report that the median pay gap has come down once again, from 11.8% to 9.6%. This means that we are trending at 5.3 percentage points less than the UK average pay gap of 14.9%. Whilst this is positive, we recognise there is still more to do.

Gender pay gap report

Agile, effective and inclusive

We remain committed to reaching our gender-balance targets and with our renewed focus on understanding and enhancing our people data. Through enhanced data collection campaigns we will be in a strong position to monitor our progress in both gender balance and diversity more broadly.

We adopted a new strategic and evidence led approach to inclusion and diversity. We have deepened relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including our Gender Balance network, to help drive our programme of culture change and the positive actions that inspire and support women.

During our 2022 Global People Survey, over 73% of our people indicated that inclusion was very important to them. Leaders from across the business have reviewed their survey results and set themselves (and their teams) positive actions to deepen inclusion within teams and identify actions that can support this.

Our Global Inclusion and Diversity strategy aligns with our Global People Strategy and embeds local people plans to deliver a collaborative, pragmatic approach.

Gender split

Our workforce in Babcock is representative of the Defence Sector with females making up 18% of the workforce in FY23, with a higher proportion in entry level roles.

Our ambitions are bold as we drive to have a minimum 30% women in the business by 2030. To accelerate progress we have looked again at our strategic approach to inclusion and diversity and are taking a number of actions including: rolling out new policies and ways of working, refreshed recruitment processes, improved leadership development, enhanced mentoring programmes and career returners schemes along with training.

We have also launched our Gender balance Action Plan (GAP). This acts as the blueprint for Inclusion and Diversity, informed by data and insight, and is supported by our Senior I&D ExCo Sponsor.

Our GAP focuses on the employee life cycle working across the Group to create a coherent and consistent approach to attraction, recruitment, progression, and retention. The key elements of the GAP include:

  • redefining our ways of working to support Babcock women
  • designing interventions and policies to enable women to thrive at Babcock and
  • a coordinated education and communications programme to engage our people

View our gender diversity table

Find out more about our Board diversity on page 118 of our Annual Report.

Our inclusion strategy

Adopting global stated commitments to inclusion, we are designing an Inclusion Roadmap across three distinct areas:

  1. Insight and awareness – embedding an enhanced evidence-led inclusion approach
  2. Customised action planning – collaborating across Group we will design and implement bespoke inclusion action plans
  3. Changing the face of Babcock – transforming our inclusion narrative internally and externally to attract and retain more diverse talent

To support delivery of our Inclusion Roadmap we will work with our Global Inclusion Steering Committee and Action Groups to:

  • Undertake research into barriers to inclusion across Group
  • Develop our internal learning across all DRCs to identify and adopt ways of working that drive change
  • Maximise our membership of ‘The Valuable 500’ and in-country opportunities on disability including the ‘UK Disability Confident’ scheme
  • Develop our approach on ethnicity including being a ‘Race at Work Charter’ signatory

About Me campaign

In March, we launched a pilot ‘About Me’ campaign in the UK to collect information on the profiles of our workforce so we can: 

  • give a clearer picture of our workforce as a key government supplier and UK publicly listed company, meeting our legal and good governance obligations
  • retain and win new business by demonstrating our social value and economic impact in bid submissions and contract reviews
  • improve our people experience by better understanding who our people are, their diversity and local needs, so we can design, plan and invest in the right level of support

The campaign had a total disclosure rate of 21% and our disability figure increased to10%. The data also indicted that we have 456 disabled people working in the business and 1,456 with caring responsibilities.

Driving business led change, creating success

We are continuing to develop our Employee Networks and Peer Support Group model, as they play a key role in achieving a more inclusive business. In 2023 we will establish three new networks focused on carers, disability and veterans which will sit alongside our current networks for ethnicity, faith, gender-balance, LGBTQ+ and Neurodiversity.

Developing our global network groups, they will support the drive for greater diversity across the Group at a working level and support a robust, dynamic, and inclusive workplace. Our Board and Executive team are championing this move to a more inclusive business and are tasked to create a great place to work, which is agile, effective and inclusive.

Oxford Economics Impact Assessment

New independent research by Oxford Economics reveals the positive impact Babcock had on the UK economy through jobs, investment, and taxes between March 2021 and March 2022. The assessment highlights how we are supporting levelling up across the UK by investing and supporting employment in the most deprived areas, actions we are taking to tackle economic inequality and improve equality of opportunity, our focus on wellbeing and environmental initiatives we are progressing to reduce emissions and support the fight against climate change.

Find out more about the Oxford Economics report


Volunteering is a rewarding and meaningful experience that supports communities and brings personal reward for our employees, enabling them to develop new skills and personal wellbeing. We want to make a genuine difference to our communities and help them to thrive.

In December 2022, we launched our first global volunteering policy called “Be Kind Day”. Be Kind Day gives Babcock employees one day (or equivalent hours) each year to play an active part in helping others to thrive.

Many of our employees already volunteer for various charities and community groups globally in their own time. These include:

  • Carrying out renovations at Bokantsho Primary School in Viljoensdrift, Free State, South Africa
  • Volunteering at Goatacre Animal Sanctuary, UK
  • Supporting native tree planning in New Zealand
  • Helping Bude Surf Veterans charity deliver surf experiences to Blesma, The Limbless Veterans in the UK
  • Volunteering at Foodbank South Australia & Central Australia in Pooraka to help sort through donated fruit and vegetables
Wembury Barton Farm tree planting

A team from Devonport’s safety engineering group used their volunteering day to plant trees at Wembury Barton Farm. The new woodland will be part of the Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest where there will be a mix of native species planted, including sessile oak, fruit trees, and hazel.

Read our Be Kind volunteering policy.

Charitable giving

We are committed to supporting the communities in which we operate and the broader interests of the customers we serve. Through charity and sponsorship we want to make a genuine difference in these areas. To that end, and aligning with our corporate Purpose ’to create and safe and secure world, together’, our criteria are based on supporting military charities and events whilst also protecting communities around the world by focusing on local charities where we have our sites or attract our employees from. A selection of the charities we have donated to or sponsored over the last year includes:

  • Veterans with dogs – a UK charity that supports veterans with PTSD with provision of a mental health support dog (see below)
  • Yalari – an organisation that provides support to young Indigenous Australians engaged in both school education
  • Laus Deo Primary School – a school in South Africa where we sponsored the installation of a water bore hole reticulation system
‘Monty’ the Veterans with Dogs puppy we sponsored

Support for Armed Forces, veterans and reserves in the UK

Babcock is committed to honouring and supporting the Armed Forces Covenant and the Armed Forces community. We recognise the value of serving personnel, both regular and reservists, veterans and military families who contribute to our business and country. We signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2013 and have reached a 10-year milestone of our commitment to the Total Support Force concept, helping our Armed Forces to deliver flexible solutions around the world.

We are a major employer of service leavers and reservists through our active recruitment approach and because of this we have held the Gold Award in the MOD’s Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme since 2015.  As we widen our inclusion focus in support of all Babcock people, we are establishing three new network groups in 2023. These include carers, disability and a Forces Community Network (FCN) which will provide support to all our people who have served in any capacity (past or present) as well as their families and allies.

Read more about our Armed Forces Commitment

Talent and development

In an increasingly competitive landscape, we are developing a comprehensive talent attraction and retention strategy focused on our culture and the opportunities we offer to make it as straightforward as possible for candidates to join Babcock.

We have cultivated a company culture that promotes inclusivity, collaboration, and continuous learning. By fostering an environment where diverse perspectives are valued, we’ve created an atmosphere conducive to innovation and excellence. By bringing to life our commitment to cutting-edge technology, ethical practices, and employee development, we look to promote our attractiveness as an employer in the communities that we live and work.

Through targeted recruitment campaigns, participation in industry events, and strategic partnerships with academic institutions, we have amplified our presence and attracted top talent from as broad a talent pool as possible. Additionally, we have implemented robust talent acquisition processes that focus on identifying individuals who possess not only the necessary technical skills but also the passion, drive, and adaptability required to thrive in our dynamic industry.

Our people

Our Principles

Our Principles were launched in 2022 and express what is most important to us and how we expect our people to show up across the business. They act as a guide for how we do things; how we make decisions, how we treat each other and how we behave. Our Principles are for everyone in Babcock, whatever their role, wherever they are in their career. To be successful at Babcock, we all need to demonstrate them.

Taking on board the feedback from our people, we need to consistently demonstrate our Principles and embed them by using them to guide how we operate every day. We therefore reviewed and simplified the language of each Principle, evolved them into ‘leadership expectations’ to help employees at all levels understand what is expected. Over the coming year we will continue to identify ways in which we can embed these principles into all our people processes, policies and use them as a guide to support capability development programmes, communications, and every aspect of the employment lifecycle from recruitment, onboarding and performance management through to talent and succession.

View our Principles