RSK has launched an ambitious Australian expansion strategy with the acquisition of four companies and 200 staff in 12 months and plans to increase staff to 2,000 in the next 24 months. The rapid growth of RSK Australia over the last 12 months is further evidenced by projects worth £4bn being under management by RSK Australia’s project management businesses.
RSK Australia MD Mark Haydock said: “The goal of RSK Australia is to replicate the full suite of environmental, engineering and technical services offered by the wider Group. The division has grown a significant presence across the eastern seaboard of Australia and into New Zealand. The Group currently has offices in Sydney, Bathurst, Parkes, Newcastle, Brisbane, Melbourne and New Zealand. Further geographical expansion is planned in Northern Queensland, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Adelaide and across into Western Australia.”
He said RSK’s focus in Australia was aligned to major infrastructure growth to future-proof regions experiencing significant population growth against the backdrop of climate change and the need to introduce resilience projects in a country of climate extremes. This has seen the business involved in remediation work following significant bushfires and more recently looking at flood restoration work in northern New South Wales.
Mark said: “Another key part of RSK’s strategy in Australia is to draw on the wider Group’s considerable renewables expertise, as Australia accelerates its investment in this technology as part of its shift to clean energy. RSK is looking to import its vast experience in the delivery of off-shore wind, solar and green hydrogen projects into Australia.
“While acquisition is clearly a large part of the growth plans for RSK in Australia, there is a clear benefit for RSK Group companies to work through RSK Australia and built their own brand and presence in a largely untapped market for RSK – this creates a useful platform to allow them to expand operations into Australia from other parts of the world. As an example, RSK Group company Central Alliance has recently delivered a GroundSat project for Transport for NSW and are looking at how they apply their technology into other sectors, including mining.”
Future expansion will be supported by further acquisitions and organic growth. The first four companies to join RSK Australia were: New South Wales-based integrated project management firm, Projence; health & safety, asbestos, property compliance, environmental and sustainability company EDP; Civil engineering, project management and transport sector specialists Western Project Services and SJA, a large-scale infrastructure advisory, expert witness, planning, project management and quantity surveying business serving the construction industry.
Asked about RSK experience in developing its Australian presence, Mark said: “Many of the multinational companies that RSK works with in Europe and elsewhere around the world have a strong presence in Australia, so provide points of entry for RSK businesses into the Australian market. The strong links between Australia and the UK and Europe mean that RSK is already known within the environmental consulting community in the country. However, that is perhaps an advantage which took us part of the way but we still had the challenge of building on this foundation by developing our brand in Australia with projects which demonstrated our significant skills and experience.”
RSK Australia is continuing to invest in green jobs in the country through partnerships with Australian universities. This has seen the business take on 30 graduates this year.
Mark added: “We have also introduced a scheme which supports the transfer of staff from the UK to Australia and vice versa to further their careers, providing opportunities to work in different countries and expose colleagues to a range of projects which benefits our people, the Group and our clients across the world.”