Alternative Careers Guide

February 15, 2009

The Alternative

Careers Guide

What the Careers Service

hasn’t been telling you


Photo by Lewis Bush


The Careers Service at Warwick aims to offer students impartial advice and information about the jobs and companies it supports, so that graduates can make well-informed choices about who they want to work for[1]. But there are a few important details that you won’t find in the graduate recruitment packs; so in the interests of free education and information we have put an alternative careers guide together for you, a quick rundown of everything they probably will not tell you.

The Careers Service and the graduate recruitment services of several large ‘engineering’ firms have been systematically misrepresenting their activities to students. For instance: how would you like to be working for a company with “a long commitment to education…to help ensure young people have the best possible start in life”[2], one that offers “exciting career opportunities…in a wide range of professional disciplines…with facilities located across the UK, and businesses seeking to grow their capabilities to meet new customer opportunities”, who can “offer you the chance to develop a career you can be proud of”[3]? But what they are carefully skirting around is the unfortunate fact that the company in question is BAE systems, the 3rd largest global arms manufacturer, currently under investigation over arms deals in Chile, Czech Republic, Qatar, Romania, South Africa and Tanzania, subject to a Serious Fraud Office investigation into the Al Yamamah arms deal to Saudi Arabia which was abruptly shut down in 2006 over suspect reasons of national security, and revealed by the Sunday Times to have carried out a “widespread spying operation” on its critics where “bank accounts were accessed, computer files downloaded and private correspondence with members of parliament and ministers secretly copied and passed on.”

Campaign groups such as the Campaign Against the Arms Trade and Weapons out of Warwick are fighting on a local and global scale to educate, and to expose the activities of arms companies. Not all are exclusively devoted to defence and security, like BAE: Rolls Royce, for instance, is more likely bring to mind flash cars than fighter jets and nuclear submarines, yet they receive roughly a quarter of their profits from the arms trade.

Arm companies profit from conflict, murder and destruction. An increase in global instability and conflict is in their direct and highly lucrative interest, if their companies are going to continue to, in the words of BAE CEO Mike Turner, “achieve sustainable and profitable growth well into the future”[4]. An expansion in arms dealing relies on an expansion of war, a greater number of dead and more schools, homes and communities wiped out. The arms trade severely undermines human rights, security and economic development at global, regional, national and local levels.

It is not our aim to prevent students from working for these companies if they choose, but it is our aim to provide them with all the facts before they come to make that decision. Weapons Out Of Warwick holds strong views on the arms trade but we recognise that not all students share this view. The Careers service recommends that students find out all they can about companies before joining them; this guide aims to provide that information. We have defined an arms company as any company who designs or manufactures products specifically for the military application.

BAE Systems

3rd Largest Arms Manufacturer in the World. Largest UK arms Company. £15.7 billion sales[5], £11.8 billion military sales, 83% military[6]. 6 Ongoing Corruption investigations in the UK (not including the Serious Fraud Office inquiry into the Al Yamamah Saudi deal, stopped by the government). Less than 20% of BAE’s sales are to the UK[7]. In September 2003 The Sunday Times reported that BAE had hired a private security contractor to collate information about individuals working at the Campaign Against Arms Trade and their activities. In February 2007, it again obtained private confidential information from CAAT. In September 2005 The Guardian alleged that banking records showed that BAE paid £1 million to Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator.

Products include: Assault rifles and handguns (H&K), Combat Aircraft, Nuclear weapons (via MBDA), Missiles, Artillery Guns, Munitions, Armoured Vehicles, Tanks, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Warships, Radar Systems, Nuclear Submarines and shackles used in Guantanamo Bay and Saudi Arabia (from their subsidiary Hiatts[8]).

Military customers of note include the UK, US, Israel, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia (Hawk Jets sold during the violent repression of East Timor), India, Pakistan, Tanzania, Lebanon, Poland, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Romania, Chile, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Columbia, Egypt, Ghana, Afghanistan, Brazil, Columbia, Qatar, Algeria (via Qatar)[9], Malaysia, Kenya, Czech Republic, Sweden, Morocco (including attempting to secure a deal in the conflict area of Western Sahara), Greece, Germany, Italy, Austria, Australia, Finland, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Nepal, Uruguay, Vietnam,

Rolls Royce

17th Largest Arms Manufacturer in the world[10]. 2nd Largest UK Arms Company. Approximately $14.2 Billion of Military Sales making up 25% of total sales[11]. Rolls Royce is the 2nd Largest Manufacturer of Aerospace Engines powering approximately 25% of the world’s military aircraft and has its equipment installed on over 2,200 warships including all of the UK’s nuclear submarines.

Rolls Royce Produces engines for Military aircraft made by other arms companies such as BAE systems, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, they manufacture the engines for the Eurofighter, Jaguar, Harrier, Tornado, Hawk Jet, Apache and Tiger attack helicopters. Rolls Royce also deals in ship design, electronics for naval forces and submarine equipment. Rolls Royce’s Subsidiary Rolls Royce Raynesway manufacturers parts for nuclear reactors including control rods, valves and other components and its plant at Raynesway has numerous safety concerns about the control and techniques for nuclear waste disposal[12].

Military customers include Israel, Indonesia (Hawk jets sold during the East Timor conflict and allegedly used against civilians in the Aceh province), Turkey, US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, UAE, Brunei, Malaysia, South Korea, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Rolls Royce also sells the jet engines used in the Myanmar national airline which is a nationalised operation which helps finance the Burmese Junta.

Park Air Systems (Northrop Grumman)

4th Largest Arms Manufacturer in the World1. Total sales for 2006 US$30.1 billion, 90% military sales[13]. A 1999 lawsuit accuses Northrop of knowingly giving the Navy defective drones from 1988 to 1998 and seeks $210 million in damages. A 1992 case filed in Illinois questions how Northrop accounted for “scrap” parts, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. That suit seeks $113 million in damages. Deputy Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz, Vice-Presidential Chief of Staff I. Lewis Libby, Pentagon Comptroller Dov Zakheim, and Sean O’Keefe, director of NASA all former Northrop officials, consultants, or shareholders currently holding positions in the Bush administration[14]. Also Northrop recently lost a previously acquired $35bn refuelling tanker contract with the US Air Force after complaints of illegal bidding practices[15].

Products include: Advanced Radar Systems, Missile Defence Systems, High-Energy Laser Systems, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Ship Systems, Mission Systems. Specific work include: managing, operating and providing infrastructure support for the Nevada nuclear testing site, B2 Stealth Bomber, Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, Kinetic Energy inceptor missile shields, Military Satellites, Global Hawk unmanned aircraft, Fire scout unmanned attack helicopter, F-5 Freedom Fighter, T-38 Talon, 25% of the Parts for the F-35 Lightning, Zumwalt class destroyer, Nimitz class aircraft carrier, Virginia class attack submarine, Gerald R. Ford Aircraft Carrier, Aegis Class guided missile destroyer, numerous amphibious assault vessels, Night Vision Goggles[16], Northrop’s subsidiary Vinnell Corporation was replaced after failing to fulfil its $48 million contract to train the Iraqi Army.

Military customers include US, China, Israel, Russia, Iran, Morocco, Chile, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya , Venezuela , Brazil, Kenya , Turkey , Jordan, Singapore, , Kuwait, Ethiopia, Malaysia, , Bahrain, South Korea, , Germany, Portugal, Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, Tunisia, Yemen, Vietnam, Australia, Canada and the UK.


27th Largest arms manufacturer in the world, 3rd Largest UK arms company. £1 billion arms sales per year, 83% Military sales.

Combat Vehicle Systems (vehicle sensors, displays, power systems), Ballistic missile defence systems (navigation, guidance, detection systems), aircraft maintenance & repair, pilot Equipment (Helmets), Missile Systems, Close Combat Systems (small arms, cannons, infantry systems), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Communication Systems, Surveillance Systems[17]

Military sales include the US, UK, Israel (Joint Strike Fighter), Turkey, Austraila, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands and the Philippines.[18]

EADS Defence and Security Systems Limited

8th Largest Arms Manufacturer in the World, Approximately $16 Billion of military sales in 2006[19], 20% of business is military.

EADS products include fighter and transport aircraft, helicopters and missiles. They also manufacture Nuclear Missile launch systems, Cruise Missiles, Ballistic Defence Missiles (Controversially being used the “Missile Shield” by the US and NATO), Eurofighter and Tiger Attack Helicopters.

Deals of special interest include Cougar Helicopters to Brazil, Super Puma Helicopters to Indonesia, Exocet Missiles to Qatar and Oman, Anti-Tank missiles to Turkey, Mistral Missiles to South Korea. EADS also sells military aircraft to more than 89 operators in 38 countries including Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Indonesia, South Korea, Oman, South Africa, Turkey, Thailand, Poland, The United Arab Emirates[20] and allegedly Burma (Via India)[21].


11th Largest Arms Manufacturers in the World, second largest UK arms company. Approximately $7 million in military sales, 50% of business is Military.[22]

Military Products include: Air Defence Systems, Missile Systems, Surveillance Systems, Submarines, Helicopters, Communication Systems, Patrol Vessels, Combat Systems, Radar Systems and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Thales also specialises in electronics for many types of military vehicles including tanks, aircraft and warships. Thales claims to be ‘present on all types of air, sea and ground military platforms’.[23]

Thales is prime contractor for the Sawari 2 programme, which involves supplying three frigates to Saudi Arabia equipped with the Arabel multi-function anti-air fire control radar and Aster missile system.[24] In Indonesia and Japan Thales has won contracts for maritime patrol systems. Thales is prime contractor for electronic warfare systems for naval vessels and was selected by Brunei for its Waspada ships and by the UK for “Type 45” destroyers.[25] Shorts Missile Systems, which is now owned by Thales, has delivered over 60,000 missiles to 56 armed forces worldwide[26].[27] Thales is also implicated (as well as EADS) in selling the “Advanced Light Helicopter” to Burma (via India)13 and licensed production of night-vision equipment to China (despite an EU embargo), Thales has also allegedly sold arms to Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Columbia.

General Electric

28th Largest Arms Manufacturer in the world. Revenue for the Industrial division of GE is $13.8 Billion[28]. One of the world’s top 3 Jet Manufacturers

GE specialises in engines and component for aircraft, Helicopters tanks and small marine vessels. GE engines can be found in the C5, Air Force One, F-14, F-15, F-16, Stealth Bomber (B-2), U-2, Joint Strike Fighter, Stealth Fighter (F-117), India LCA, X-45B (unmanned attack aircraft), F/A-18 Super Hornet, J79, M1 Abrams Tank, AH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter, A-10 Thunderbolt and others[29]. GE claims that their engines are found in over 55 Countries. GE also sells component for submarines and warships including the US and UK nuclear submarines. GE has also designed more than 90 nuclear facilities and was involved in testing the effects of radiation on humans.

GE supplies US, UK, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Thailand and many others.


AWE makes and maintains the UK’s nuclear weapons. AWE is 1/3 owned by the US company Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest arms company, 1/3 by the UK firm Serco, and 1/3 by the UK government owned BNFL. The BNFL 1/3 is currently in the process of being sold to either the US firm Jacobs or Fluor. AWE was in the news in 2006 by its attempts to circumvent nuclear testing treaties by developing a new “Reliable Replacement Warhead”, according to Matrix Chambers; this may be a material breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. By continuing to possess and make new nuclear weapons, Britain is failing to comply with its obligations to disarm under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which it signed in 1968. The Trident replacement programme to build a new generation of nuclear deterrents is thought to cost the UK taxpayer £75bn over 50 years[30].


Cummins is the largest supplier of diesel engines for defence purposes in the Western world and works closely with other arms companies such as BAE systems and Lockheed Martin. Cummins engines can be found in the VSEL AS90 self-propelled howitzer, Bradley Armoured Fighting Vehicle, the MRLS self-propelled rocket launcher, the Scorpion light tank[31]

Cummins military Products are used in the militaries of the US, Israel[32], China, Sudan[33], UK, Czech Republic, Portugal, Denmark, Finland, France, Austria and Poland.

Land Rover

Land Rover’s Defender 4×4 is used for both civilian and military purposes around the world. Land Rover claims to have 70,000 of its vehicles in use around the world[34]. Land Rovers can be found with the militaries and security forces in Zimbabwe, Sudan[35], Israel and UK.


Airbus is a subsidiary of EADS, the 7th largest arms company worldwide. Airbus also manufactures military products itself, mainly transport and refuelling aircraft.

Products include the A400M tactical transport aircraft, the Multi-Role Tanker Transport and the KC-45 refuelling aircraft.

Customers include the US, United Arab Emirate, Turkey, UK, Spain, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium.


Unipart is an established supplier of services to the UK Defence sector, offering supply chain capabilities and experience of continuous improvement and lean operations.

Unipart’s military products include Future Integrated Soldier Technolgy (FIST): “The FIST system will provide the soldier with improved situational awareness, lethality and survivability.”[36] Battlegroup Thermal Imaging (BGTI) is a programme collaborating with Thales (11th largest arms company globally[37]) to fit thermal imaging (TI) sights to Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV) and CVR(T) Scimitar Close Reconnaissance variants.

These vehicles are currently sold to the militaries of the Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Ireland, Brunei, Botswana, Nigerian, Oman, Philippines, Spain, Thailand, Venezuela, Honduras, Chile, Belgium, UK, Canada, Germany.


Detica is owned by BAE systems (92% controlling stake. Detica provides consultancy, customized technology, and knowledge management services to government and corporate clients in the defence, homeland security, counterterrorism, intelligence, and Federal markets sectors. BAE believes the UK ‘homeland security and resilience market’ will double to more than £3bn by 2011 and looks to cash in on this[38].

Defence Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL)

DSTL is owned and operated by the Ministry of Defence, it is a hugely secretive organisation that works on high tech military products.

DSTL specialise in biological and chemical warfare, working with anthrax and highly toxic poisons. Their Porton Down site is notorious for testing LSD on armed forces volunteers without their permission and testing the effects of mustard gas on people from different nationalities to study the damage.


Part of 8th Largest Arms Manufacturer in the World (owned by EADS, BAE and Marconi), 100% Military, Largest manufacturers of guided missiles in the world.

MBDA boasts over 70 customers worldwide including the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Qatar (Exocet Missiles), Oman, Turkey ((Anti-Tank missiles), South Korea (Mistral Missiles), Poland, Israel and India.


£100m in yearly revenues from military contracts.

Atkins provides consultancy services to private arms companies and the MoD. Atkin’s projects include the Rolls Royce made Nuclear reactors for submarines, “Type 45 Destroyer” warships made by BAE systems, military aircraft with QinetiQ and Boeing and armoured vehicles made working with DSTL. The Type 45 Destroyer is likely to be sold to Saudi Arabia.[39]


Ricardo provides consultancy for automotive applications. Services include weapon mounting systems, armoured vehicles, systems integration for military applications. Past products include Military Humvees, Armoured Land Rovers and Light tanks such as the CVR(T)[40].


Jacobs provides management consultancy and contruction services to military customers including the MoD, US military, BAE systems, Warships Support Agency and the Atomic Weapons Establishment. Jacobs is involved in construction of facilities for the BAE made Type 45 destroyers[41] to me sold to Saudi Arabia. Jacobs was involved in the construction of docks for UK nuclear armed submarines.


IPL specialises in software products for arms companies and the MoD. IPL products include software for the Merlin Helicopter used for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare roles. IPL supplies EADS with bespoke software (EADS is the 7th Largest arms manufacturer in the world[42]).


Provides project management services for military services around the world. AMEC has worked with the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston and has interests in nuclear weapons. AMEC has many contracts building and maintaining military facilities around the world regardless of their usage.

Military customers include the UK, US, Iraq, Canada, Eastern Europe, Pacific rim and the Middle East.

Lloyds Register

Lloyds Register provide management and technical consultancy services to navies around the world, Lloyds register also consults on defence procurement[43]. Lloyds Register has provided consultancy for arms companies such as Thales[44]. Lloyds Register provides maintenance services for marine vessels including military craft as well as advising on technical design issues.


Tessella produces bespoke products for numerous arms companies including working on systems in the new “Type 45 Anti-Air Warfare destroyers” working directly for BAE systems. Tessella is also involved in nuclear experimentation with contract for the JET fusion reactor and Sellafield.

Tessella’s clients include BAE systems, EADS, AWE, British Nuclear Group, Lockheed Martin, MOD, Thales and various Oil companies including Total (Currently Operating in Burma).


Infosys provides consultancy on manufacturing, design and information technology areas of the defence industry.

Special Metals Wiggin

Special Metals is a world leader in the invention, production and supply of the high-nickel, high-performance alloys used for the difficult jobs in engineering. Its high strength alloys are specified for military supersonic aircraft, helicopters and spacecraft as well as marine applications for military ships and submarines.

Oliver Wyman

Oliver Wyman is a consultancy company that works with large arms companies particularly in the aerospace area. “Oliver Wyman helps leading Aerospace & Defence firms develop value growth strategies, improve operations, and maximize organizational effectiveness.”[45]


The Warwick Student’s Union supports the Baby Milk Action’s boycott of Nestlé[46]. Nestlé employs approximately 253,000 people in some 511 factories worldwide. Nestlé is the world’s largest food company[47]. With products like Perrier and Nescafé, it is the market leader worldwide in coffee and mineral water[48], the largest manufacturer of pet food, and is fast increasing its share of the ice cream market.

Needless to say, however, this version doesn’t give a very full explanation of the scandals which have plagued the company. The most obvious damage to Nestlé’s reputation has been its unethical marketing of artificial baby milk, particularly in the global south. This started to become a major issue in the 1970s when War on Want published a report called “The Baby Killer”, which was translated into German by the Berne Third World Action Group who were subsequently sued for libel, having named their version “Nestlé Kills Babies”.[49] In 1977 a boycott was launched, which continued until 1984, when Nestlé agreed to abide by the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. However, the fact did not match up to the promises and the boycott was re-launched in 1988, continuing vigorously today.

There is, of course, much more to Nestlé than the baby milk issue. The company has attracted criticism for its use of genetically modified ingredients, and for its cocoa and coffee-buying policies, including purchasing cocoa from Ivory Coast, which has recently received heavy press coverage due to the existence of child slavery on cocoa plantations. The company has also been implicated in lobbying against vaccination of livestock during the British Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in 2001. From environmental destruction in Brazil to the intimidation of trade unionists in Colombia, from demanding millions in compensation from hunger-stricken Ethiopia to bolstering its image through proposing donations to breast cancer charities – Nestlé is one of the world’s most campaigned against companies. [50]

Royal Bank of Scotland

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is a hugely significant private funder of oil and gas extraction and exploration. Between 2001 and 2006, RBS provided over $10 billion in loans to oil and gas projects. The embedded carbon emissions resulting from these projects in 2006 were greater than the carbon emissions for the whole of Scotland. RBS has positioned itself as ‘the oil and gas bank’. With dedicated oil and gas offices, RBS has significant experience and expertise in the sector, and provides crucial services to oil and gas companies. Working as a hands-on partner to the industry, RBS structured the loan agreements and acted as financial adviser on over $30 billion of projects between 2001 and 2006. Other banks describe RBS as the most competitive in the sector, prepared to undercut other banks and offer cheaper loans and finance the projects no other British bank will.

The intimate relationship that RBS has with the fossil fuel industry extends to new areas of expansion. As traditional oil extraction begins to peak, unconventional fossil fuels, such as oil sands and coal bed methane, are becoming a reality. Previously inaccessible, this ‘dirty’ oil requires far more energy to convert into usable forms than traditional crude oil, resulting in much higher carbon emissions. RBS has called the development of oil sands an “energy-financing growth area”, and identified the need for “drilling dollars” for coal bed methane development. [51]

The NUS and Warwick Students Union is committed to putting pressure on RBS due to RBS’s poor environmental record. The NUS National Treasurer has written twice to the RBS Chairman, threatening to stop banning with them and “…seek alternative, more ethical banking options” by their AGM in 2009, should RBS not significantly change this support and conduct a full and published investigation into their entire, embedded carbon footprint.[52]

[5] BAE systems website, key facts for journalists,

[6] World Rank is from the 2006 top 100 taken from Defense News Top 100 July 2007

[7] CAAT Publications – Arms Fairs, DSEI (2003),, Accessed 5/11/07

[8] As used on the famous Nelson Mandela, Thomas, 2006, Ebury Press pp212-222

[9] CorporateWatch – BAE systems, A corporate Profile 2003,

[10] CAAT Publications – Rolls Royce, , Accessed 7/10/07

[11] Rolls Royce Annual Report 2006, , accessed 7/10/07

[12] “A basic summary of what we know about Rolls Royce Raynesway (RRR) and Rolls Royce (RR) as a company” handout.

[13] Publications – Northrop Grumman,, Accessed 1/11/08

[14] Corpwatch: Northrop Gumman, accessed 1/11/08

[15] The Times 11/9/08

[16] Northrop Grumman capabilities brochure

[17] CAAT Publications – QinetiQ, , Accessed 5/11/07

[18] QinetiQ Annual report 2007, , Accessed 5/11/07

[20] CAAT Publications – EADS, , Accessed 7/10/07

[21] “Indian helicopters for Myanmar: making a mockery of the EU arms embargo?”, Amnesty International Report, , Accessed 7/10/07

[22] CAAT Publications – Thales, , Accessed 7/10/07

[28] GE Annual Report 2006, Financial Statement, Segment Operations, Industrial Segment, , accessed 7/10/07

[29] GE Military Engines, accessed 7/10/07

[30] Time for a real review of defence spending, Robert Fox, Guardian Comment is free, 4/9/08

[31] World Defence Systems Website- Company Profiles – Cummins accessed 30/9/08

[32] Defense update online defense magazine accessed 30/9/08

[33] Amnesty International Annual Report 2006

[35] “British firm breaks Sudan arms boycott” Jon Swain & Brian Johnson Thomas Sunday Times, 22/4/2007

[37] World Rank is from the 2006 top 100 taken from Defense News Top 100 July 2007

[38] Financial Times 29/7/08

[39] “UK seek £2bn Saudi destroyer contract”, Michael Harrison, The Independent, Published 9/3/2007, , Accessed 14/10/07

[40] Ricardo Document – Defence Systems and Technology,, Accessed 5/11/07

[41] Jacob Babtie – Facilities for type 45 on the Clyde , Accessed 5/11/07

[42] CAAT Publications –EADS, , Accessed 14/10/07

[43] Lloyds Register Website – “Sectors We Serve – Defence”,, Accessed 5/11/07

[44] LRQA Website – Case Studies, Thales,, Accessed 5/11/07

[45] Oliver Wyman Industry Capabilities , accessed 7/10/07

[46] Warwick Students Union Policy 506 “Nestle”

[48] Hoovers Database, Nestle – Company overview,2163,41815,00.html

[50] Corporate Watch, Nestle Overview

[51] People and Planet, “The Oil Bank of Scotland, RBS Campaign Summary”

[52] Warwick Students Union Policy 684 “Putting pressure on Natwest/RBS”


Photo by Lewis Bush