Navantia Australia strengthening South Australia’s skilled workforce in partnership with TAFE SA & WTIA

Nov 09, 2017


Navantia Australia today signed a memorandum of understanding with TAFE SA and the Welding Technology Institute of Australia (WTIA) to establish an Intelligent Welder Training Facility in Adelaide.

The Facility, equipped with the latest augmented reality simulators and welding systems, will be used to run accredited assessments, up-skill tradespeople and boost supply of ‘gate-ready’ welding graduates to the local defence shipbuilding industry. It will form the core of the Defence Welding Hub, being established by WTIA to provide training to the defence industry in Adelaide using the latest advances in welder training technology.

“Navantia Australia is looking forward to working with our new partners TAFE SA and WTIA. The success of Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding program requires the engagement and development of a highly skilled and well-qualified workforce to maintain the highest international standards. In order to begin construction of the Future Frigates in 2020 we need to set the foundations now, particularly the skilled welders who are required at the very beginning of the shipbuilding process,” said Navantia Australia Managing Director Donato Martinez.

“To grow Australia’s sustainable, sovereign shipbuilding enterprise it’s vital to strengthen workforce training and development programs. That’s why Navantia Australia will continue to build strong partnerships with Australian education institutions and industry bodies.”

“The success of projects like Australia’s Future Frigates relies heavily the availability of a skilled workforce. We’re increasingly aware of the potential shortfall of internationally recognised welders required to deliver Australia’s ambitious $90 billion shipbuilding program,” said WTIA Chief Executive Officer Geoff Crittenden.

“This Facility will grow an internationally certified workforce and identify skills gaps to allow for the development of future training programs. WTIA is looking forward to working with TAFE SA and Navantia Australia to ensure all new defence equipment is built by Australian welders.”

“The Future Frigates program will provide unprecedented opportunities for South Australians to embark on lifelong careers in engineering, welding and fabrication,” said TAFE SA Chief Executive Robin Murt.

“Through this Facility, young people will be able to start developing their skills with a Certificate II in Engineering in high school, complete an apprenticeship and become welders certified to international standards (ISO9606). They can continue to work as master ship welders or follow training pathways to exciting and varied careers in leadership, management or professional engineering.”


TAFE SA is the largest provider of vocational education and training in South Australia, training over 70,000 students a year. TAFE SA has previously provided extensive apprenticeship and management level training programs for the Collins Class Submarine and Air Warfare Destroyer workforces and is the longstanding provider of the Defence Industry Leadership Program, training Defence Industry Leaders with the Defence Teaming Centre. TAFE SA also delivers the Defence Industry Pathways Program (CAD design and advanced manufacturing) to selected high performing school students as part of the Advanced Technology Project

(Sponsored by the Commonwealth Department of Defence, ASC and the South Australian Department of Education and Child Development).

Welding Technology Institute of Australia

The WTIA represents the welding profession in Australia. Its members are made up of individual welding professionals and companies of all sizes. WTIA’s primary goal is to ensure that the Australian welding industry remains both locally and globally competitive, both now and into the future. A not-for-profit, membership-based organisation, the WTIA is dedicated to providing our members with a competitive advantage through access to industry, research, education, certification, government, and the wider industrial community.

Navantia Australia

Navantia Australia’s roots date back hundreds of years. Since 2006 we have been Australia’s shipbuilding partner. At Navantia Australia, we are committed to growing our local workforce and links to the Australian supply chain to best support the growth of a truly Australian shipbuilding industry.

Photo: (left to right) WTIA Chief Executive Officer Geoff Crittenden, Navantia Australia Managing Director Donato Martinez and TAFE SA Executive Director, Education, Brian Rungie