March 5 (UPI) -- BAE Systems Australia said last week that they have accepted 42 new graduates its national defense and security business, continuing to grow its presence there.
BAE Systems announced a ream of initiatives in 2017 to grow it's business in Australia, positioning itself to take a lead in development of the Royal Australian Navy and consolidating its business there with the development of a defense hub that includes manufacturing, simulation, training and test facilities.
The new graduates are expected to continue plans that work into 2018, company officials say.
"Our graduate program is just one aspect of our efforts to advance the next generation of employees within the business," BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Gabby Costigan said in a company press release.
"We have the highest expectations of our graduates as potential future leaders within the business, both here in Australia and overseas," said Costigan.
The 42 graduates will be placed in a wide range of national security and security business projects across Australia, according to BAE System.
For now, the 2018 graduates will "specialize in engineering, project management, finance, IM&T and commercial and procurement and will be based at the company's facilities in South Australia, Williamstown and Richmond in Victoria, North Ryde and Garden Island, NSW, Canberra, ACT and Portsmith, Queensland," BAE said.
BAE Systems says that more than 2600 university students applied for positions, and that one third of the 42 graduates chosen were female. The company said it aims to create a more diverse workforce.
BAE Systems has already begun recruiting for 2019.
"Our graduate program is important for us as we invest in developing the capability we need for the future and delivering future defence programs, supporting the men and women in the Australian Defense Force," said Costigan.
BAE's focus on Australia was bolstered last year in August with the announcement that it's Australian division would develop a defense hub to manufacture armored vehicles, as well as other defense platforms and systems, for the Australian Defense Force.
Additional announcements in October and December outlined further plans for BAE's hope it would be chosen to develop new frigates for the Royal Australian Navy and to create a power and propulsion team for future research into naval programs for Australia.