Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has announced that every Australian state and territory is set to join forces with the Morrison government to develop a skilled national naval shipbuilding workforce by signing co-operation agreements with the government’s Naval Shipbuilding College.
The co-operation agreements commit the states and territories to working with the Naval Shipbuilding College to establish and develop new workforce pipelines and ensure there are clear career pathways for jobseekers into the naval shipbuilding sector.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the agreements supported a nation-wide effort to developing the future workforce by providing the education and training required to deliver a sovereign shipbuilding capability.
“A skilled and experienced workforce remains critical to the successful delivery of a new naval capability and the ongoing sustainability of the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise,” Minister Price said.
“This is truly a national endeavour. All states and territories have an important role in supporting the success of the Enterprise through workforce development and skills growth.”
South Australia, Western Australia, NSW, Northern Territory, Tasmania and Victoria have signed co-operation agreements, with the ACT and Queensland to follow.
The Naval Shipbuilding College is partnering with all levels of government, shipbuilding prime contractors, Australian businesses, and education and training providers to help create a national shipbuilding workforce.
NSW defence advocate Air Marshal (Ret'd) John Harvey, AM, PhD, said, “The NSW government is pleased to be working with the Naval Shipbuilding College to develop the future skilled workforce of Australia’s naval shipbuilding and sustainment industry here in NSW.
“A co-operation agreement was signed earlier this year with Defence NSW. It demonstrates a strong commitment by the NSW government to supporting Defence and defence industry in NSW with the provision of industry-led program.”
WA defence advocate Rear Admiral (Ret'd) Raydon Gates, AO, CSM, said, “This partnership demonstrates that WA is working hard to ensure collaboration at a state, and importantly, at a national level to sustain the increased demand on the local defence industry to build sovereign capability for present and future Defence projects.”
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The college is headquartered in South Australia, and through a hub-and-spoke model has national reach to ensure a co-ordinated approach to workforce development.
NT defence and national security advocate, Dr Alan Dupont AO, chairman Northern Territory Defence and National Security Advisory Group, said, “The Northern Territory is pleased to join the Naval Shipbuilding College initiative, which was formalised by the NT Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Defence Industry on 12 November.
“This agreement demonstrates the Northern Territory's commitment to establishing a world-class maritime industry hub and the workforce to support it.
“We welcome the Naval Shipbuilding College to the Top End and look forward to developing this important plank to our overall maritime industry development plan, which aims to grow local jobs and contribute to sovereign capability in the critical areas of training and education.”
Tasmanian defence advocate Rear Admiral (Ret'd) Steve Gilmore, AM, CSC, added, “Tasmania backs the important work the Naval Shipbuilding College is undertaking to support the development of a highly-skilled national workforce to deliver the Australian government’s Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise.
“As Australia’s only island state, Tasmania has a strong shipbuilding sector that can contribute to the national shipbuilding effort.”
Victorian defence advocate John O’Callaghan explained, “In addition to Victoria’s plans to boost its cadre of high quality, experienced engineers and other advanced technology maritime industry specialists, the Victorian government, through the co-operation agreement with the Naval Shipbuilding College, will substantially assist the college to meet Australian industry’s challenging naval shipbuilding and sustainment requirements.”
Queensland strategic defence advisor for sea Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Simon Cullen, AM, CSC, added, “Queensland is willing and able to support the ADF’s plans for an expanded sovereign capability and is well placed to contribute to this due to the state’s geographical attributes, a long history with the Royal Australian Navy and a strong industry sector with a highly skilled workforce.”
Defence SA Chair, Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK AFC (Ret'd), added, “Our collaboration with the Naval Shipbuilding College is a critical step towards South Australia’s vision to create a skilled, agile and robust workforce to sustain and build on our position as home to some of Australia’s most complex naval shipbuilding projects.”
The college’s establishment of a regional office in WA, and the imminent opening of an office in NSW, will support its physical presence on the west and east coasts of Australia to streamline stakeholder engagement across the nation.
To find out more about the Naval Shipbuilding College, visit www.navalshipbuildingcollege.com.au.