Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, has announced the release of a Request for Proposal for the Naval Shipbuilding College.
The Naval Shipbuilding College is a key initiative in the Naval Shipbuilding Plan, released in May 2017.
Pyne said the College would attract, train, and retrain naval shipbuilding workers for the Government’s $90 billion shipbuilding program.
“As outlined in the Naval Shipbuilding Plan, the naval shipbuilding workforce is expected to grow to around 5200 workers by the mid to late-2020s, with more than double this number of workers in sustainment activities, supply and related industry chains across Australia,” said Pyne.
“The release of the Request for Proposal is an important step in ensuring the required workforce is equipped with the right skills at the right time to implement the Government’s ambitious naval shipbuilding program.
“The initial focus will be on key entry-level trades, and will later expand to include higher education qualifications such as naval architecture and engineering.
“This demonstrates the Government’s commitment to build the capacity and capability of Australia’s skilled workforce to ensure a sustainable naval shipbuilding and sustainment capability in this country for future generations,” he said.
Pyne said while the Naval Shipbuilding College would be headquartered at Adelaide, it would provide opportunities for education and training providers across Australia.
“Training providers from across the country such as the Australian Maritime College in Launceston and TAFE providers across the country are in the perfect position to benefit from this government initiative.
“The Naval Shipbuilding College will be national in scope. It will work with, rather than compete with, existing education institutions across Australia.
“Over the first few years of operation it is expected the College will have to attract, train or retrain more than 1,500 students across the country.”
Pyne said there would be opportunities for current workers in shipbuilding, sustainment, and supply industries.
“Developing training to facilitate career paths from entry level trades to more senior positions like foreman and middle managers will be important.
“The Naval Shipbuilding College will also reach out to workers in adjacent industries, including those recently made redundant in the automotive industry,” he said.
On 24 March 2017 the Government announced an initial investment of $25 million, over the first few years, to establish the Naval Shipbuilding College.
Pyne said the Naval Shipbuilding College must be industry driven to be effective.
“Not only will the shipbuilders selected for the various shipbuilding projects be key stakeholders, but also companies involved in sustainment and supply chain work.
“A person could be enrolled at the Naval Shipbuilding College headquartered in Adelaide, but be completing the course at a TAFE in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, or a regional centre such as Cairns.”
As is standard with Government procurement, small to medium sized enterprises have also been encouraged to participate.
The Naval Shipbuilding College will commence operations on 1 January 2018.