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New maritime college planned for SA

christopher pyne karen andrews
Christopher Pyne and Karen Andrews at the the Regency TAFE campus in Adelaide for the announcement of the Maritime Technical College

A new shipbuilding school in Adelaide will begin operation in 2018 to train thousands of skilled workers for the new submarines and frigates.

A new shipbuilding school in Adelaide will begin operation in 2018 to train thousands of skilled workers for the new submarines and frigates.

The Australian Maritime Technical College, costing taxpayers $25 million, was announced by Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne, Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews and Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham.

The launch of the school is part of the government's plan to ensure it has enough skilled workers to build the future submarine and frigates


Minister Pyne said the college is an important step in Australia's future naval shipbuilding industry and would help Australians obtain jobs within the shipbuilding industry. 

"The government is ensuring long-term, secure employment for future naval shipbuilding and sustainment workers which will avoid the peaks and troughs the industry has previously experienced," Minister Pyne said.

"By the late 2020s, the naval shipbuilding industry will expand to more than 5,200 employees in construction in South Australia, and more than double this in sustainment and through the supply chain across the country.

"The Maritime Technical College is a government investment aimed at attracting, recruiting, training and retaining the workforce we need to successfully deliver a continuous naval shipbuilding program."

The college is expected to train at least 1,500 students during the first few years of operations and will focus on entry-level trades like fabrication, electrical work, fitting and turning, heating, ventilation and airconditioning.

A provider, or a group of providers, will have the opportunity to run the maritime technical college when a request for tender is released in the coming months. The Department of Defence will also hold industry information sessions about the college and its phased implementation from 2018.

Minister Pyne also said the college will target suitable former automotive industry employees, including Holden workers that were, and will be laid off once the manufacturer closes its doors in Adelaide in October 2017, along with workers previously employed in mining.

"We fully expect workers previously employed in mining and automotive industries to be retrained through this college, ready to start work on our next generation of naval vessels," he said.

Minister Birmingham said a national approach to defence and education is key to successful implementation of the nation's shipbuilding endeavours.

"Defence capability is at the heart of our naval shipbuilding commitments. The importance of these capabilities has never been clearer, given the increasing security challenges Australia faces,” he said.

"A national endeavour of this magnitude requires a national approach to education and training."

Assistant Minister Karen Andrews said the college will ensure the delivery of well-trained candidates for future employment in the shipbuilding industry.

"The Maritime Technical College will provide opportunities for education providers across Australia to collaborate across the education and training spectrum to deliver high quality candidates for future employment in naval shipbuilding," she said.

"Having the right sized workforce, with the right skills, is critical to delivering the government’s naval shipbuilding program."