Australian military seeks UK soldiers facing redundancy

 

Sydney

In Britain, thousands of defence jobs are being axed because of public spending cuts. In Australia, the armed forces are struggling to maintain staffing levels as they compete with the booming mining industry. Now British service personnel earmarked for redundancy are being targeted by Australian recruiters offering the sweetener of a fast-tracked path to citizenship.

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN), which is desperately short of engineers, is understood to be particularly keen to recruit from overseas. According to a report in The Australian yesterday, it sent a delegation to Britain recently to investigate the skills sets of the sailors and officers being laid off as part of the Government's plans to cut 17,000 Armed Forces jobs by 2015.

Many engineers have been lured away from the Australian military by the mining industry, which offers better pay and conditions. The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, said yesterday that industry recruiters waited at the docks with job offers for disembarking navy personnel - a neat reversal of the old press-gang tradition, as one Australian newspaper noted yesterday.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is also looking to the US, Canada and New Zealand as potential recruiting grounds, and will reportedly offer those joining from overseas the guarantee of an Australian passport within three months of them being granted permanent residency. Usually permanent residents have to wait two years before applying for citizenship.

Special forces officers, fighter pilots and submarine crews are among the specialised personnel sought by the country's three services. The latter are in particularly short supply, with the Navy able to operate only two of its six Collins-class submarines at any one time.

The ADF is under pressure to keep up manning levels, with about 1,550 troops deployed in Afghanistan and crews needed for a fleet of new warships and aircraft carriers.

On its website, the ADF says it is seeking "serving or ex-serving foreign military personnel who can directly transfer their job and life skills to whichever service they join with limited training and preparation". It "looks to overseas candidates to fill gaps in our services that can't currently be satisfied by standard recruitment", it adds.

About 5,000 Royal Navy employees are facing redundancy as a result of the defence budget being slashed by eight per cent in an effort to save nearly 5 billion pounds. The RAN, in consultation with the Royal Navy, is pitching itself to those people and offering them an alternative career path, a spokeswoman for the Australian Defence Department said yesterday.

The RAN and Royal Navy operated as one force until the end of the Second World War, and are accustomed to sailors and officers transfering between the two. According to The Australian, Vice Admiral Griggs has assured his British counterpart, Admiral Mark Stanhope, the first Sea Lord, that Australia will not poach personnel required to maintain Britain's defence capability.

The Australian Defence Association (ADA), a defence think-tank, said yesterday that the country had for a long time maintained naval numbers by recruiting from other Commonwealth nations and the US. They tended to have the necessary skills and qualifications, as well as meeting security requirements, said Neil James, the ADA's executive director.

He told Sky News that, as far as the Australian Navy was concerned, "it's the lack of engineering and maintenance electricians … that is really causing some grief". According to some reports, the Navy is short of as many as 200 engineers.

The Defence Department said the Royal Navy was "very comfortable" about Australian recruiters targeting the men and women facing redundancy.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

£65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star