Defence Industry Pathways Program (DIPP) graduate Jessica Stephan has traded a 14-year career as a Phlebotomist collecting blood samples for laboratory testing for a new role as Logistics Officer at Babcock Australasia’s Henderson base in Western Australia.
The DIPP is a 12 month-program developed by Defence in conjunction with Western Australia’s South Metropolitan TAFE and the maritime defence industry, to help grow careers in the defence industry. Jessica is one of 11 participants engaged by Babcock and Naval Ship Management (NSM), a Babcock company, through the DIPP. She becomes the first trainee to secure full time employment with Babcock since the program’s inception in 2021, with a further two appointments from NSM.
With four generations of her family having served within the defence force, Jessica said she wanted to make the career change so that she could contribute in her own way.
“My grandfather was an electrician in the Royal Navy in Scotland, and my husband and my sister both served on the Anzac Class Frigates,” she said.
“I have always had a love for the ocean and sailed competitively in dinghies at the local yacht club with my Pop, and watching boats and ships pull into Garden Island since I was little.
“I wanted to experience something which I have always had a passion for, and Babcock and the DIPP gave me that opportunity.”
On completing her DIPP Traineeship, Jessica received a Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways, Forklift Licence and a Construction Induction (White Card) through South Metropolitan TAFE and is now studying a Certificate III in Supply Chain Operations.
“Babcock welcomed me as one of their own from the very beginning,” Jessica said.
“This opportunity has exposed me to different areas of the industry and rapidly grown my knowledge of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems such as IFS and the Australian Defence Force’s Military Integrated Logistics Information System (MILIS). I have had real hands-on experience, support and mentorship throughout my training at Babcock.
Babcock’s Operations Manager (WA) Jeremy Antao said Babcock gave Jessica ‘a front row seat’ to holistic logistics management.
“We were able to give Jessica exposure to not just the warehousing aspect but more complex functions such as inventory optimisation and planning,” he said.
“Through the on-the-job training provided to Jessica over the past year, she has developed her understanding of the day-to-day operation of the work we do to support the Collins Class Submarines through our partnership with ASC.
Mr Antao said the DIPP allows industry to become involved in positively influencing skills shortages in defence and provide alternative career pathways for those without navy or military experience.
As part of Defence Industry Pathways Program Intake 3, Jessica Stephan enjoying a guided tour of HMAS Stalwart.