Australia bolsters naval shipbuilding workforce retention strategy

In a bid to keep as many skilled naval shipbuilders within the industry, the Australian defense industry minister announced that shipbuilders currently working on the air warfare destroyer project would transition to support Collins-class submarine sustainment work as the destroyer project winds down.

To enable this, up to 200 new positions will be created within ASC Submarines in Adelaide.

In addition to Collins-class sustainment work, workers will undertake training and upskilling to support naval construction programs.

Defense industry minister Christopher 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.

“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,” minister Pyne said.

“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.”

“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 added.

Australian federal minister for finance Mathias 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.”