Australian shipbuilder’s package to create hundreds of jobs

A new workforce package that will bolster jobs and skilling for Australia’s current and future naval shipbuilders has been revealed.

The Turnbull government has agreed to a “targeted retention strategy” to create up to 200 positions within ASC Submarines for current shipbuilders working on the Air Warfare Destroyer program.

The package was announced by Defence Industry minister, Christopher Pyne, and the minister for Finance, Mathias Cormann.

“Australia’s future shipbuilding and sustainment workforce is at the very heart of success for Australia’s naval shipbuilding enterprise,” Pyne said. 

“Over the next 10 years, the size and skill level of the naval shipbuilding workforce will need to increase significantly to meet the demands of the various shipbuilding programs.

“To meet these challenges we need to keep as many of the workers currently building the Air Warfare Destroyers in the naval shipbuilding industry as possible.”

As the Air Warfare Destroyer program winds down, workers will move to support Collins-class submarine sustainment work and undertake training and upskilling to support our naval construction programs.

Pyne said as many as 100 scholarships would be offered to workers to support opportunities to upskill in roles in operations management, computer-aided design, and engineering and supply chain fields. 

“This initiative is on top of the Offshore Patrol Vessel decision made recently, creating up to 400 direct jobs and 600 indirect jobs, and the announcement that Australian Naval Infrastructure will create 600 additional jobs to redevelop the Osborne South shipyard.

“We are stabilising the shipbuilding workforce. With the Future Frigates decision to be made early next year and further workforce decisions made as required, things are truly on the up at Osborne,” Pyne said.

Cormann said the workforce package would ensure the retention of critical workforce skills in anticipation of future shipbuilding programs.

“With ASC’s performance on the Air Warfare Destroyers continually improving, we now have a highly skilled naval shipbuilding workforce in South Australia,” he said.

“Through this workforce package we will retain these critical skills to support major new shipbuilding programs in South Australia as part of the Coalition Government’s historic $89 billion continuous naval shipbuilding program.”