ASC Shipbuilding, responsible for delivering the Navy’s Collins Class submarines and Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers, has announced that it will reduce its workforce to reflect operational demand and ensure the continued meeting of project budgets and schedules.
ASC Shipbuilding said it is taking this action reluctantly and only following a rigorous process of identifying and filling redeployment opportunities to other areas in the ASC Group, including ASC’s submarine maintenance operations and the Offshore Patrol Vessel project, as well as with current and future ASC Shipbuilding project partners, where possible.
ASC Shipbuilding has also been working in collaboration with the Departments of Defence and Finance to ensure opportunities for retaining shipbuilding personnel for future projects have been maximised.
The announcement starts a minimum six-week consultation process with the enterprise agreement workforce, ahead of the possible redundancy of up to 93 production employees. As part of this process voluntary redundancy packages will also be offered.
With the Hunter Class Frigate Program set to commence production in 2020, to be delivered by ASC Shipbuilding as a subsidiary of BAE Systems, it is anticipated that many former shipbuilding employees will have the opportunity to return to the company in due course.
ASC Shipbuilding has briefed employees on the impact of the changes and support will be provided through the company’s employee assistance program and career transition centre. ASC Shipbuilding is also working with BAE Systems to identify opportunities within their broader Australian workforce to help minimise the impact of these labour force reductions.
ASC serves Australia's naval defence capabilities, with more than 2,500 employees across three facilities in South Australia and Western Australia. ASC has evolved into Australia's largest specialised defence shipbuilding organisation, with naval design and engineering resources unparalleled within Australia's defence industry.
Initially established in 1985, ASC was subsequently chosen in 1987 as the prime contractor for the design, manufacture and delivery of the Royal Australian Navy's fleet of Collins Class submarines.
In 2005, ASC was awarded the role of shipbuilder for the Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer project. These are the most advanced and complex warships ever built in Australia and are being constructed at ASC's state-of-the art shipbuilding facility, ASC South, located at Osborne, SA.