The Naval Shipbuilding College has awarded 35 university students a Naval Shipbuilding Pipeline Scholarship, which aims to strengthen the pool of future engineering talent available for the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise.
Twenty students from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and 15 students from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) will be officially welcomed into the scholarship program by the Naval Shipbuilding College (NSC) and the Department of Defence.
NSC chief executive Ian Irving welcomed the announcement, saying, “The NSC, in conjunction with industry, is leading the establishment and ongoing development of a highly skilled Australian shipbuilding workforce so industry has a highly effective workforce with the required skills, in the right locations, when they need them.”
Recipients are studying in critical engineering disciplines required in the shipbuilding enterprise, including computer and software systems, mechatronics, mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering.
“The engineering degrees the students are undertaking, supported by the Defence-funded pipeline scholarship, prepare them for critical roles within the shipbuilding enterprise and will provide opportunities to secure meaningful careers within the sector,” Mr Irving added.
The scholarship covers the costs of the student’s third and fourth years of study, assists with the purchase of educational materials, and connects students with 12-week paid placements across the enterprise.
Mr Irving explained, “The 12-week paid work placement, included as part of the scholarship, provides an invaluable opportunity for the students to gain relevant professional experience and to put their studies to practical use – allowing them to hit the ground running post-graduation.”
The scholarship also aims to support and encourage more women to enter the engineering field and provides a meaningful step towards strengthening gender equity in the defence industry – women currently represent only 16 per cent of Australia’s STEM skilled workforce.
Maria Vargas Duque, mechatronics engineering student from QUT, added, “The opportunity of gaining work experience in the shipbuilding enterprise – which is such a massive endeavour that means so much for the whole of Australia – is a once in lifetime opportunity. It’s a unique experience I wouldn’t get anywhere else.”
Applications for the 2021 National Naval Shipbuilding Pipeline Scholarship are now open for second year students via the QUT website and RMIT website.
The Naval Shipbuilding College is an Australian government initiative that is managed on behalf of the Australian government by the Naval Shipbuilding Institute, a joint venture between Kellogg Brown and Root and Huntington Ingalls Industries.
Headquartered in Osborne, South Australia, the college commenced operations on 3 April 2018.
The initial focus of the college is to establish industry workforce requirements, build capacity and increase annual attendance at education and training facilities around Australia.
In addition, the college is tasked to increase key entry-level trade qualifications to meet initial construction demand and boost apprenticeship opportunities.
Long term, the college will continue to expand educational and work placement pathways for students, graduates and qualified workers from allied industries to meet increased workforce demand.