Australians aiming to sign up sailors sacked by Royal Navy

Royal Navy sailors who face losing their jobs could be signed up to serve in Australia.

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is planning to recruit some of the 5,000 people who are set to be made redundant as part of defence cuts.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said it “makes sense” for sailors to use their skills in a similar role when they leave the Royal Navy.

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A delegation from Australia has now been sent to the UK to look into the plan.

An MoD spokeswoman said: “Sailors in the Royal Navy are among the best and most highly trained in the world. It makes sense for those leaving the Royal Navy to use the skills they have gained during their career in their future employment, whether that is for another country’s naval service or any other sector.”

An Australian military spokesman said: “We have been closely consulting with the Royal Navy (RN) on options for RN personnel affected by the downsizing.

“The RAN is presenting itself to personnel identified for redundancy as one of their career transition options, provided those personnel meet its requirements.

“The plan is that the British Navy would be contacting people being made redundant and telling them that there is an option for them to extend their career and giving them our contact details.

“The Royal Navy is very comfortable with this approach.”

The MoD plans thousands of job cuts by 2015 to save £5bn. It will also lose 12,000 Army posts, 5,000 RAF posts and 25,000 civilians.

An editorial in The Australian newspaper said: “On a strategic level, Australians might wonder if a reduction in British military capability is good for global security. But from a selfish perspective, we welcome the prospect that the jetsam from the Royal Navy will provide much-needed ballast for ours.”