Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne and Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann announced a workforce package for ASC employees to help skill Australians for current and future naval shipbuilding projects.
Up to 200 jobs were expected to be shed at ASC by Christmas as work on the Air Warfare Destroyer project winds down. Instead, AWD workers will move to support Collins-class submarine sustainment work and undertake training and upskilling to support naval construction programs, such as the Offshore Patrol Vessels project.
“Over the next 10 years, the size and skill level of the naval shipbuilding workforce will need to increase significantly to meet the demands of the various shipbuilding programs,’’ Minister Pyne said.
"To meet these challenges we need to keep as many of the workers currently building the Air Warfare Destroyers in the naval shipbuilding industry as possible.
"This is why the government has agreed to a targeted retention strategy to create up to 200 positions within ASC submarines for current shipbuilders working on the Air Warfare Destroyer program."
Minister Pyne said as many as 100 scholarships would be offered to workers to support opportunities to upskill in roles in operations management, computer-aided design, and engineering and supply chain fields.
The initiative comes just weeks after it was announced that ASC would build the first two of 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels at the Osborne shipyard in Adelaide. The remaining 10 vessels will be built by Austal and Civmec in Henderson, Western Australia.
Minister Cormann said the workforce package would ensure the retention of critical workforce skills in anticipation of future shipbuilding programs.
“With ASC’s performance on the Air Warfare Destroyers continually improving, we now have a highly skilled naval shipbuilding workforce in South Australia.
"Through this workforce package we will retain these critical skills to support major new shipbuilding programs in South Australia as part of the Coalition government’s historic $89 billion continuous naval shipbuilding program."
The third and final Air Warfare Destroyer, Sydney, was fully consolidated on the hard stand in August this year and will be launched in 2018 ahead of delivery in 2019.
ASC Shipbuilding’s work on Sydney has been measured at 60 per cent more efficient than Ship 01 Hobart and 36 per cent more efficient than Ship 02 Brisbane.
Ship 02 Brisbane is scheduled to be delivered to the Commonwealth next year, following Category 5 sea trials.