Attack Class submarine project to provide training for women in welding

Attack Class

Naval Group Australia has developed a new program that aims to boost female participation in the Attack Class submarine project, through offering the entry-level training needed to begin a career as a submarine welder. 

Partnering with the South Australian government’s Skilling South Australia initiative and Adelaide Training and Employment Centre, Naval Group’s 10-day program will be provided at no cost to 10 successful applicants. 

It will provide them with 60 hours of accredited training and familiarise them with equipment and tasks via hands-on experience with power tools and the performance of metal arc welding. It will also assist with introductions to employers in Naval Group Australia’s host business network. 

The pre-work skills training will be provided in September 2021. Participants who choose to pursue a welding career can be considered for a new intake of Naval Group Australia apprentices later this year. This will create a pathway to a long-term career working on the Attack Class. 

Naval Group Australia is committed to building a diverse workforce as it continues to grow in preparation for submarine construction. 

“The Attack Class program will require hundreds of new workers in the next few years, as we get ready to start cutting steel at the new and modern shipyard being built at Osborne,” Naval Group Australia chief executive officer John Davis said. 

“We want to maximise the talent in our Attack Class team. A key part of that plan is supporting more women to identify and achieve their potential in secure trade pathways like welding. 

“It’s important for Naval Group Australia, and our staff, that there’s a diversity in our growing team which accurately reflects the local community we are embedded in and working for,” he said. 

“But we also need to inspire people from non-traditional backgrounds to take up trades like welding so that we achieve the number of skilled workers needed for submarine construction.” 

Participants in the program don’t need any prior experience and will gain a taste of what the profession offers, according to ATEC chief executive Lynne Austin. 

“The demand for people with welding skills in South Australia is going to be significant over the coming years and decades, as the Future Submarine Program continues to expand,” she said. 

Naval Group Australia currently employs 21 trades apprentices, who receive on-the-job training with South Australian host businesses. Those placements allow apprentices to gain experience in skills including welding and boiler making and prepare for future work on Attack Class submarines. 

“The Attack Class project will deliver decades of benefits for Australian workers, as we continue to create local jobs, both at Naval Group and in new sovereign supply chains,” Naval Group executive vice president Future Submarine Program Lilian Brayle said. 

“This is a national endeavour and we want all Australians to be able to play a role in the effort. 

“In collaboration with our teams in France, the Attack Class is delivering the advanced submarine capability that Australia requires and secure jobs and career pathways that can last a lifetime.” 

To apply for the women in welding pre-work training program, phone ATEC on 1300 112 832. 

For further information about Naval Group’s ongoing commitment to Australian jobs and local businesses, go to 

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