TAFE SA ready to train the next generation of naval shipbuilders

May 16, 2017


TAFE SA has welcomed the release of the Naval Shipbuilding Plan by the Prime Minister and looks forward to providing Australians with the practical skills needed to take advantage of the new pathways and careers within this rapidly growing industry.

TAFE SA has a strong track record of supporting the training needs of the naval shipbuilding industry and is ready to play its part to ensure a skilled workforce is available for the continuous build program of major surface combatants and the rolling acquisition of new submarines.

TAFE SA is also consulting with its nationwide network of TAFE Institutes, and universities, on developing a national approach to building the skilled workforce needed to support the Australian shipbuilding industry.

TAFE SA Chief Executive, Robin Murt, said vocational education and training has a critical role to play in building the capacity and ability of the shipbuilding workforce.

“It is vital that we have the skilled workforce in South Australia, and Australia, to take advantage of the exciting opportunities created by the Commonwealth’s commitment to this growing industry,” Mr Murt said.

“TAFE SA has extensive experience working in partnership with the defence industry and has the capacity and capability to accommodate the increased demand for training and education to support new shipbuilding skills across a wide range of jobs.

“We need to build an awareness of the viable career paths available within the defence sector, while also supporting existing workers to retrain and upskill to take advantage of the opportunities that are emerging.”

While large numbers of future workers will be needed from the traditional shipbuilding trades such as welding, boiler making and electrical, there are also many jobs needing skills in project management, engineering and design, electronics, software development, cyber security, systems engineering, testing and evaluation and ongoing business support.

“The expansion of the current range of high-school based defence industry pathway programs encouraging students into shipbuilding and advanced manufacturing careers will also lead to greater numbers of apprentices and students in TAFE SA’s shipbuilding-focused qualifications,” Mr Murt added.

“With many of our staff having worked within the defence manufacturing sector, we are well-equipped to deliver both practical and applied knowledge to the training and education delivery.

“We have a long history of working closely with ASC and the Defence Teaming Centre to ensure that industry input into course development and delivery is maximised. We are increasing defence industry work placements and industry engagement opportunities for students to produce shipyard-ready quality graduates.

“TAFE SA is ready to play a leading and collaborative role in promoting and shaping shipbuilding skills development across Australia.”

TAFE SA will promote careers in naval shipbuilding at the Careers Expo in Adelaide.